HR Nugget – January 2014
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Training – Mentoring – Coaching – What is the difference?
Simply put, the main difference is in how directive the method is.
Training tells people what to do, it’s a “Here’s how you do it” approach that works well for technical things and hard skills, where there is literally only one right way of doing it, e.g. you follow steps 1 – 24 exactly to assemble the machine or it won’t work!
Mentoring guides and advises, it’s a “Have you tried this way?” approach that works well for people who are new to a job or position and need some guidance to find their way more quickly and painlessly, e.g. A mentor might make some introductions to key people or resources, guide their mentee onto the right track.
Coaching empowers by asking the right questions, it’s a “You know the solution” approach that works well for soft skills and confidence building, where personality plays a big role and what works for one person might not work for another, e.g. a coach might enable the coachee to see things from different perspectives and thus find a solution.
Coaching needs to be done by a professional who has a background in executive coaching, proper training and years of experience, whereas training and mentoring can be done by senior employees for their juniors after a basic “train the trainer” or “introduction to mentoring skills” workshop (we can offer these for you).