‘Today the lines between mentoring and networking are blurring. Welcome to the world of mentworking.’ (Julie Winkle Giulioni)
Some people like conceptual models. For those who do, I’m sometimes asked how I differentiate between coaching, mentoring, facilitation and training. After all, they’re all practices that fall broadly within the people and culture arena. One way I’ve found useful is to depict them in a simple model framework, as above. We can see here that coaching and mentoring ordinarily have an individual orientation, whereas facilitation and training have a group orientation. The distinction isn’t always as sharp as that in practice however since, for instance, team coaching, as the name implies, is with a group, and personal training is with an individual.
Coaching and facilitation use a primarily non-directive approach, often focusing on process and enabling a person or group to surface their own insights and ideas by posing questions. Mentoring and training tend to be more directive, often focusing on content delivery such as sharing of knowledge and experience. Again, the boundary isn’t always that hard in practice. For instance, a coach or facilitator necessarily brings their own expertise to the encounter, from which the client may well draw insights and ideas. In mentoring or training, the practitioner may well use questions to enable a client to process and apply what they have learned for themselves.
How, if at all, do you distinguish between these different but related fields of practice? How do you decide which is most appropriate, for whom and when?
I'm a psychological coach, trainer and OD consultant. Curious to discover how can I help you? Get in touch!
Like what you read? Simply enter your email address below to receive regular blog updates!