Everything you need to know about Coaching and Mentoring

What is the difference between a mentor and a coach

A mentor is normally considered a subject matter expert. They often hold a similar role as you and are more senior. They can tell you a lot about the area of interest and will draw on their practical experience to teach and enable you to build your knowledge and skills. Ideally, they offer you space to reflect and will suggest a course of action if you are stuck or working through tricky issues. It is like a “how to” relationship.

A coach does not need to know the area of interest. A coach is concerned with empowering you to find the right course of action in a way that motivates and facilitates your own growth, development and performance. A coach helps you figure things out. They are interested in helping you to determine professional coaching goals and will help you go from where you are now to where you want to be. It is like a “partnership”.

Some coaches lean into both techniques so you are able to get the best of both worlds.

Is one better than the other?

I personally lean into both techniques. I absolutely believe mentoring has it’s place and I will not stop providing “how to” advice but I have found coaching to be a more effective way for inspiring and motivating action and growing and developing your skills. Coaching pushes you to dig deep and lean into your own talents for the achievement of your goals. In my opinion, coaching results in more transformational change and when combined with strengths coaching it’s next level impact.

So, what is strengths coaching?

It recognises that we all have natural tendencies – thoughts, feelings and behaviours – and it is these tendencies that offer the key to unlocking our true potential.

A strengths coach will help you understand and start to harness your talents so that you able to recognise your unique edge and power, consistently step forward with confidence and direction and deliver high performance.

You will need to complete a 45 minute online assessment tool CliftonStrengths 34 to identify your unique strengths profile. The results are then utilised to build your awareness and reflect on your strengths, leadership style and goals for your coaching partnership.

Make sure your strengths coach is both trained and certified in Gallup strengths.

Why coaching is a leadership tool that suits women millennials?

  • It helps you discover your values and build your narrative
  • It helps you navigate your career and determine where you want to be in life
  • Coaching is not about being managed or told what to do – instead it stimulates, motivates and empowers growth, development and progression
  • It offers a safe space to discuss freely what you are thinking and feeling
  • It provides access to independent feedback and advice so you can improve your performance
  • It helps build your self awareness and confidence – the best leaders have exceptional self awareness – they have worked hard to understand who they are and understand how their behaviour affects those they lead
  • It results in higher levels of engagement, well being and performance

If you’re ready to put these tips to work download this free guide

You’ll gain more advice on how to set coaching objectives, what fees and meeting arrangements you can expect and two check lists to help you choose the right coach and ensure you are coach ready.


#balance for better

A balanced world is a better world.

Gender balance is everyone’s issue.

Strike the pose and splash your selfie all over social media. Happy celebrations!

If you would like to try out your downloadable checklist and see if I am the right coaching partner for you please ring me on 021 388 687.  For more information go to your pathway strengths based coaching.

Women Step Forward shining – the spotlight on our next generation of women leaders.

 Ngā mihi nui

Mel Boyle
Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu (with feathers a bird can fly)