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The Difference Between Mentoring and Coaching

Executive Coaching Perth and Mentoring

At Integral Development, we offer executive coaching as well as leadership development programs and management courses. We feel that any organisation must provide both mentoring and coaching to compete, not only in Perth but in national and international markets.

Coaching and mentoring are similar terms, but they describe different processes. A quick overview of the differences between mentoring and coaching follows;


Mentoring is based on a relationship between mentor and protege. The mentor provides a “sounding board” where the protege can feel comfortable discussing any obstacles in the way of success, professionally or personally. Mentoring can cover such areas as self-belief, self-perception, integrating personal development into professional performance and striking a balance between work and life.

Mentoring is always a long-term endeavour, with trust developed between mentor and protege over a period of time. The mentor helps the protege develop, both for the present and the future. This helps the mentor avoid encroaching upon the duties of the executive responsible for the protege.

Though many mentor-protege relationships often happen organically, mentoring can follow specific models and a mechanism where mentors are matched with their proteges. Mentoring is provided without the input or supervision of the protege’s direct supervisor; this protects the integrity of the relationship between mentor and protege.

Mentoring should be considered to help an organisation with leadership development and succession planning. It can also be used to help develop employees more fully than merely teaching specific competencies. Many companies are using baby boomers to pass their experience on to younger generations.


Coaching focuses on specific tasks or competencies and requires a coach who is proficient in specific tasks. It is usually of a short duration, lasting until the specific problem is solved. In addition, coaching focuses on improving performance by increasing the skill set of the person being coached.

Usually, the employee’s immediate supervisor is involved in the coaching process, often determining the areas in which the employee receives coaching.

Coaching should be considered to help develop specific skills, when a staff’s talent level is higher than its performance, or when introducing a new program or system to the workplace.

Integral Development

To find out about our executive coaching or management courses, call our Perth campus: (08) 9242 8122.

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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