The difference between Mentoring & Coaching

by • January 23, 2015 • Personal DevelopmentComments (5)835

By: Kerry King, CEO Global Business Mentoring & Advisor Institute
Date: January 21st, 2015

Image courtesy of & franky242

For many people these 2 terms are used inter-changeably but that’s not how I see it. To my mind they are 2 entirely different approaches to working with people.

Let me open with a question.

How do you know if you are ‘Mentoring’ and not ‘Coaching’?

For many people these 2 terms are used inter-changeably but that’s not how I see it. To my mind they are 2 entirely different approaches to working with people.

The main distinction I make between these two terms is this.

If Coaching is about performance and producing specific results e.g. improving net profit by $1,000 per month within 12 months, then Mentoring is about development of you and in turn your business, which is a more holistic approach to business development.


• Coaching = skills and task enhancement (specifics)
• Mentoring = guidance and advice (possibilities)

As a Business Mentor I focus on you (as my Mentee) getting the learning at numerous levels (surface and deep) which will give you more options and choices to implement throughout the development and growth of your business.
You’ve probably heard the saying: ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a life time’.

Mentoring teaches you ‘how to fish’ or more specifically, how to think (about your business).

As a Mentor, I listen very closely to the language my Mentees use when they seek feedback or responses to specific matters. Mentors focus on becoming excellent communicators which is a very important part of developing Mentees.
You see, the way you express words when communicating says a lot about the way you think and the choices you make when you make decisions in your business.

Mentors need to understand this stuff in order to bring out the best in the Mentee.

As a Mentor I get an indicator of whether or not you see the glass as being half empty or half full or whether or not you are holding on to ‘limiting beliefs’ that are holding you back.
My job as a Mentor is to get you to open your eyes to possibilities that have not previously occurred to you. By getting you continually ask yourself the question ‘what else is there I can do, say or react, you are increasing your options and therefore don’t become locked in to a single thought pattern.

Here’s an example.

A customer calls to complain and you are confident that the customer is mistaken, how might you respond?
a. You could defend yourself and your business and tell the customer they are mistaken, or
b. You could listen carefully to the customer, promise to investigate the matter, thank them for bringing it to your attention.
c. And thirdly, you could in addition to response b) add that customers who complain are the best type of customer for your business because that’s how you get to make improvements in your business to make it an even better experience for all your customers.

As a Mentor I would invite you to think through ALL of the possible responses and not just the most immediate or obvious response.

By developing the skill to think through all options you can enhance your chances for success not only in business but also at a personal level.

The GBM Mentoring Program covers both the ‘business’ side of mentoring as well as the ‘leadership’ side. Having one without the other leaves the job of mentoring half done.

So Mentoring goes a lot more deeply than coaching. It takes a larger form by working on possibilities and not just the most obvious.

Mentoring has leverage. It builds better people at all levels, technicians, supervisors, managers and directors.

The key to better performance in business is to develop leaders and not just better technicians, supervisors and managers.


Kerry King – Business Mentor and Coach
Ph. 0429 84 36 36

About Kerry King

Kerry King was a practising accountant for 20 years and yet, never did one tax return – for his clients.
This is because he saw a much more urgent problem to deal with, teaching business owner how to make money in their business!

Not only did he do that but he also taught the accounting profession how to do this.

Kerry also created his Business Mentoring Program to help business owners build their Leadership and Management skills.

For the accounting profession, Kerry created ‘ClientSAFE – Business Advisors Tool Kit’.A suite of simple software, concept diagrams and ready reckoner tables that simplify the process of showing business owners what affects their profit and cash flow and how to improve them.


Of course I’d love you to share your thoughts or experiences below.

Until next time

Jaffaman Eddie T.G.I.C.

The Guy In Charge

Eddie’sCopywriting & Marketing Centre

Eddie’s Enterprises

• Ph.0412 288 339

• Email

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