May 8, 2018
Coaching, Mentoring or Training - What's the Difference?
On previous episodes we have discussed Mentoring in Sales (42),
we have also discussed Coaching vs Training (79). This week
we discuss all three approaches in the context of personal
development and improving capabilities.
We share our thoughts on the differences between Coaching,
Mentoring, and Training, why one approach may be better than
another, and when it might make sense to combine methods.
- What's the difference between Coaching & Mentoring?
- How do you know if you need a coach or a mentor?
- How important is it to be coachable?
- How do I know if I should work with a coach?
- How can we connect with Catalyst Sale to discuss coaching?
- How do you know if Training, Coaching, or Mentoring is a better
- Coaching tends to be focused on the current task, or
skill. The coach and the person receiving the coaching, are
looking at ways to optimize.
- Mentoring tends to consider the bigger picture. There may be
more ambiguity. It is less about the skill, more about the longer
- Good mentors should also be able to coach. Coaches, on the
other hand, may not be good mentors.
- When considering skills improvement, coaching may be a better
solution. i.e. cooking. When working on improving your skills
in the kitchen, a coach can help you by being in the kitchen.
- The coach should be there, with you, and provide coaching in
- Coaches look for the subtle changes that can make a significant
impact - they look for the details.
- Mentoring is a bit more philosophical. The relationship
between mentee and mentor is critical.
- Coaching may be a bit more tactical. The relationship
between the coach and the player is not critical.
- Being coachable is crucial if you want to develop your skills.
Ask yourself, if you are not coachable, if you have a big ego, how
will you grow?
- It is important to have an open mind when working with a
coach. You should have a solid understanding of where your
- You may need a coach in an area, but you may be blind to
it. This is where a mentor, a manager, a colleague, or others
can make a recommendation. One way to overcome your blind spots is to
shift your perspective.
- Fit with a mentor is really important. When it comes to
coaching, the fit is not the focus, the results are more
- Skill development should lead to something
- With a coach, you should see direct skill improvement.
- With mentoring, am I moving in the right direction?
- Training tends to be more
structured. Most cases 1:many, however a 1:1 approach may
make sense in a training environment.
- If your objective is to "Learn something new" - Training may be
a better solution
- Coaching tends to be task-based or skill
based. 1:1 really works well with coaching.
- If your objective is to "Improve a specific skill" - Coaching
may be the best approach
- Mentoring tends to be more open, less
structured, relationship driven, future-focused, and the
relationship will evolve.
- If your objective is to "Improve being/focus" - Finding and
working with a mentor may work best
- As an example, when thinking about swimming - training works
well at first, comfort around the pool, coaching might be specific
to hand position in a given stroke, mentoring might be more focused
on nutrition, pre-race prep, and mindset.
Call to Action
- Ask yourself - Am I coachable? In what scenarios will a
coach help me more than a mentor or participating in training?
- Engage with the community via twitter @catalystsale - how are
you applying infinite learning concepts?
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In every business, in every opportunity, there is
someone who can help you navigate the internal challenges and close
the deal. There is a Catalyst. We integrate process
(Catalyst Sale Process), technology and people, with the purpose of
accelerating revenue. Our thoughtful approach minimizes false
starts that are common in emerging markets and high-growth
environments. We continue to evolve our practice based on customer
needs and emerging technology. We care about a thinking process
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a Thinking Process.