What’s the difference between business coaching, mentoring and training?

Business coaching, mentoring and training are similar yet different ways of helping you achieve your business goals and improve your performance. Let's dive in.
What we'll cover

What is business coaching? Is it the same as business consulting? Is it the same as training? These questions, among others, are answered below.

What is a business coach?

A business coach is someone who offers advice on how to improve an individual’s business or career.

A typical coaching relationship lasts from 6 months to 2 years, and both parties commit to the same level of support, accountability, and confidentiality. The coach typically agrees to meet with the client 3-5 times per month for a one-hour session.

A business coach will focus on the areas of business or career in which you want some help. The goals that you set and the priorities you jointly identify will be key to meeting your desired outcomes.

What is one goal a person might have? One goal that a person might have is to make 2-3 times more money than they currently make in their business. Another example of a business goal a business coach can help with is overcoming difficulties and stress, which may be holding you back from making the type of money you want to make. A coach can help you set goals related to your business or career and identify strategies to achieve those goals.

What is a business coach not?

A business coach is not a financial planner, so one should never engage a business coach based on the hope that the coach can somehow magically make them money. A business coach cannot replace other resources that may be needed and used along with coachings, such as insurance and accounting professionals.

What might an executive or entrepreneur go to a business coach to get help with?

  • Getting started with a new business process or product.
  • Dealing with demands that are making it difficult for you to meet your customers’ needs. – – – Establishing new goals that will be beneficial as you enter a different phase of your career or life path.
  • Overcoming difficulties and stress which may be holding you back.

What are the similarities among these?

  • All of these services share qualities of assistance to:
  • Help you identify a point of focus and take responsibility for that focused goal.
  • Help you develop plans and strategies for action, along with times and activities that will be involved in moving towards your goal.
  • Help you assess progress in relation to your goals.
  • Provide an environment for honest sharing, learning and growth.

What is a business mentor?

A business mentor is someone who helps you develop your professional and personal skills to ensure that your career is progressing.

An executive might consider seeking a mentor when they want to stretch themselves mentally, skillfully, and personally beyond where they are currently at. A business mentor can aid in laying out a plan to accomplish career goals and in sharing knowledge, experience and perspective that the mentee may not have on their own.

It’s important to find a mentor who can offer different perspectives on business and life. You’ll be able to ask your mentor questions regarding a variety of topics, such as marketing and sales, professional product development and others.

What is one role a mentor might play?

A mentoring relationship will typically last about 1-3 years and will be mutually agreed upon by both parties. The length of the relationship depends on the goals that are shared between the mentee and mentor. The goals that are shared between both parties should be clear from the start of the relationship – both people discuss their sets of goals at length during their first session (usually 3-4 sessions).

What is a mentor not?

A mentor brings skills and information and experience. However, they are not experts in every area. They are unlikely to have psychological background too, which means they should not be used in lieu of a business coach. They won’t look at your mindset, or relationships, or ways to achieve more and be more efficient for example.

A mentor can provide advice, guidance, and resources to both seasoned experts and beginners alike. Their advice tends to be more useful for those who are just starting out in their careers or businesses, though it could also be valuable for more experienced professionals as well.

What is training in business?

Training is what a business may choose to do to ensure that all employees – and the leadership team – are skilled in all necessary areas.

Training can include team building and conflict resolution, which fosters teamwork. Training can also include teaching each employee how to use their specific equipment, and any software they may need for their job. Some businesses may provide training on company values, for example, how to be “on time.” Business training gives employees the ability to understand everything that is needed from them, so they can perform better at their jobs.

What is training not?

Training is not a substitute for experience.

Yet another way to look at it is that training can be defined as: a method of transferring information and skills from one person or source to an individual, group, or organisation. This definition reinforces the reality that training can happen even when an individual has plenty of experience – but they still need to know how to do things differently in order to more effectively help their company. As employees receive training, they become better equipped with the skills they need for their job.

So when should choose a business coach?

You should find a business coach if you’re looking for unbiased curiosity. Someone who is curious will ask you questions and will not judge you for the kinds of problems you may have, or will ask questions that facilitate your growth in a way that is natural.

Some people use coaches to help them become more skilled in making business decisions, or adjusting their habits to suit their new lifestyle or situation. Others use coaches to help them cope with stress work relationship problems, or even as a way of learning new habits.

  • A coach can help you set goals and learn how to continue towards those goals.
  • A coach can support you through the process of goal setting and the action steps necessary to achieve them.
  • A coach can help you understand how to make the best decision in order to meet your goals.
  • A coach can help you devise strategies when it comes to building your business.
  • A coach can help you manage stress or deal with the negative thoughts that are often present in stressful situations.
  • A coach can provide a sounding board where you can express ideas or feelings that may be too hard to verbalise.

If this sounds like you, please do get in touch.

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If you’re an entrepreneur, executive, business owner or freelancer who’s feeling lost in a maze, I would be happy to lend a hand.

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