Mentoring vs. Coaching

Coaching

Coaching assists in the development of new skills or knowledge. It may be task oriented and for a limited timeframe. For example, coaching might include information about clinical billing, how to manage a clinic, the learning of a new clinical research skill, or other task-oriented activities.

In coaching, someone with the necessary and specific knowledge (the expert) is identified to provide new information to an employee or faculty member in an effort to enhance personal skills. In such cases, the coach could be the person's direct supervisor.

The outcome measures of coaching would be the successful acquisition of a new skill and such success might be reported directly to the person's department chair or division chief.

Mentoring

Mentoring utilizes a supportive, one-to-one relationship. The mentor is often a senior faculty member who assists a new faculty member in their academic development and achievement. Ideally, the mentor should not be the direct supervisor or the department chair of the mentee.

A mentor doesn't have to be an expert on the topic, unlike a coach would be. Rather, mentoring is about the relationship between the mentor and the mentee that explores the mentee's personal goals, provides discussions of possible options and solutions to problems, offers guidance on career development and rank advancement, and provides feedback on any issue the mentee may bring forward.