HR Nugget – Training – Mentoring – Coaching – What is the difference?

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).

If you want more information please contact Mary or Diarmuid.

Right Hand HR in conjunction with DPR Associates  offers a unique approach to coaching.  We address employee engagement and leadership issues and offer training programmes to suit your needs.