What’s the difference between coaching and mentoring?

If you are reading this, I expect you have probably considered working with a coach – or a mentor – to support you and/or your business. But, with such an array of choice; with hundreds of people promising to take your business to 6 figures or to set up your passive income stream or build your confidence; it can feel a bit overwhelming.

In this post I am aiming to reduce that overwhelm and break down a little bit about what coaching is, and what it isn’t, give you some pointers about what to look for and share some things to consider before you speak to anyone. After reading this you will be able to make an informed choice, to work with the right person, with the right skills, who will help you and your business.

We live in a fast-paced world, and we are now very used to having the answers to most of our questions at the touch of a button. Of course, this is absolutely brilliant and so helpful when you need a practical guide on how to do something, like how to add a shop to your website or how to go live on Facebook. However, it is not so great at answering some of the more subjective questions, for example: how much should I charge for my service? Or Where do I find clients?

This can bring up a challenge. Very often when people start exploring the idea of working with a coach what they actually have in their head is a mentor. You see a mentor will give you answers and a clear process – probably one they have experienced themselves. A coach will help you get answers but won't hand them to you or give advice or pass judgement.

In our fast-paced world the idea of being guided to the answers and finding them ourselves (or even letting them find us!) can seem really frustrating – you’re busy and don’t have the time to be messing about, right? But the beauty of coaching is that you will explore options that you may not have considered before and you will find the solution(s) that align with you AND, as an added bonus, because you came up with it yourself – rather than being given advice or told what to do/ not do – you will feel more motivated to do it!

Coaching is a specific skill.

Unfortunately, coaching is not a regulated industry and so technically anyone can call themselves a coach. This is where confusion often appears because people are calling themselves a coach when actually they are mentoring, or training. There is often a misconception that a coach needs to have lived the experience in order to help others. This is not the case. On a clarity call I had recently with an interior designer I explained how it was actually a benefit that I didn’t know anything about interior design and hadn’t worked with one before – I wasn’t bringing my misconceptions and limiting beliefs to the table. I was distanced which would allow her to really explore all of her options and allow me to challenge any beliefs she was holding about what is and isn’t possible within her industry.

Rather than asking what experience the coach has personally with what you are struggling with, ask about the results their clients have achieved after working with them. Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters if you are considering working with someone. For example, I haven’t had a £50k launch yet but I do have a past client who, after working with me to remove her limiting beliefs about money, went on to have one (and more).

There is a lot of debate about the regulation of coaching and the need for qualifications. For the kind of coaching I do, where we are looking at reprogramming past beliefs and mindset, I think qualifications are invaluable. While hypnosis isn’t as magical as TV likes to make out it also shouldn’t be messed about with and when dealing with the unconscious mind it is important the person guiding you knows what they are doing! However, there are some cases where a coaching qualification is not a necessity, and it is normally when the coaching transcends into mentoring. And so, there is no right or wrong regarding qualifications what’s more important is knowing what you want to get out of the coaching/ mentoring relationship and if you have trust and rapport with the coach/mentor.

In summary

Coaching is providing guidance and can help you find answers you didn’t even know were there.

It can help you remove limiting beliefs and open up an array of possibilities and opportunities which will have an unlimited potential for you and your business. Coaching can provide powerful accountability and can work very well alongside other techniques including guided meditation, NLP and TimeLine Therapy.

Mentoring is sharing knowledge, skills and advice. It is someone who has achieved specifically what you want to achieve.

You are paying them to tell you how they did it.

I use both coaching and mentoring with my clients to help them reach their desired results.

If you are considering working with a coach (and I know you are if you have read this far!) then these are 3 things I would consider before booking in calls to speak to a few (and do speak to a few):

1. Am I looking for a coach or a mentor?

2. What do I want to achieve/ learn/ gain from the experience? (You can then ask if they have clients who have achieved these things)

3. What values do I want this person to share with me?

I’d love to hear your answers to the questions above. Book a clarity call and let’s see if my style of coaching and mentoring is a good fit for you and your dreams for your business. Book here.

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