coaching vs mentoring
Coaching vs Mentoring


Maggie Sim

Maggie Sim

When people hear that I am a coach, they tend to ask me about coaching vs mentoring as well as other questions like:

  1. What is coaching? OR
  2. What is the difference – coaching vs mentoring? OR
  3. Is coaching the same thing as mentoring, therapy and counselling

I know it is important for some people to have a clear understanding because they want to pick what is right for them in their current situation.

I thought it would be helpful to explain the key differences between coaching and mentoring, as well as others like therapy, counselling, consulting and training, terms which I know you would be interested in.

What is the same in coaching vs mentoring?

The intention behind coaching is the same as mentoring, therapy, counselling, consulting, therapy or training which is to help people. However, the objectives are not the same.

What is different?

To explain the differences, I am using the easy-to-understand explanations provided in Coaching by NLP, an excellent coaching book written by Joseph O’Connor and Andrea Lages.


Coaching is a partnership in which the coach helps the client to achieve their personal best and to produce the results they want in their personal and professional lives.


A mentor is a senior colleague who gives advice and provides a role model.  Mentoring is not so goal-focused as coaching and the discussions will be wide-ranging.  A mentor usually has a lot of experience in the client’s field of business.


Counselling usually works remedially on a client’s problems.  The client usually feels uncomfortable or dissatisfied with their life.


Therapy is for a client who seeks relief from psychological and/or physical symptoms.  The client wants emotional healing.  The client’s motive in therapy or counselling is usually to get away from pain or discomfort rather than moving towards desired goals.  Both therapy and counselling are likely to involve understanding and working with past experience.

If you have more questions that you would like answered (and I know you do!) about coaching or hiring a coach, please feel free to reach out to me through the contact form below. Or you can subscribe to my articles and blog-posts here.