Mentoring, Coaching, etc.

There are frequent debates about the differences between Mentoring, Coaching, Psychotherapy and other one-on-one approaches to personal change. The diagram clarifies some of the distinctions between these various approaches.

Typically any coach will make interventions from across the space shown - and the same will be true for mentors, therapists and so on. However, different players will tend to have a predominant style. For example, coaching has a future orientation and focuses on changes in behaviour and performance (bottom right hand corner) but may also focus on learning and development - as Developmental Coaching or External Mentoring (top right hand corner).

Use this map to be clear about:

  • the purpose of your intervention (resolving the past / aligning with the culture / creating the future)

  • the type of change being aimed for (first order vs second order)

  • the location of the expertise and power in the relationship (the client or you)

  • whether the intervention is about challenging the wider status quo or aligning with it.