While the terms “mentor” and “coach” are often used interchangeably, there are fundamental differences between coaches and mentors.
A mentor can assist in your personal and professional development by focusing on you, as a person, your career and support of individual growth and maturity. A mentor assists in your development as it relates not only to your current job but also for the future.
The Center for Coaching and Mentoring notes that “mentoring is biased in [the mentee’s] favor … Coaching is impartial, focused on improvement in behavior.” This is not to say that behavior and performance don’t improve as a result of mentoring. The ACPE mentor program will provide the opportunity for targeted, position-based professional growth, which can naturally lead to growth into higher positions.
Most often, however, mentors have no connection to their mentee’s organization and the relationship is confidential in nature. By contrast, coaching often includes the employee’s manager, who often provides critical insight and information related to performance, and often a coach is paid by an organization.