Training, Mentoring and Coaching are three Distinct and Different Processes with very Different Outcomes.

A Trainer is someone who is an expert at transferring Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes in the field you are seeing success in.  If you wanted to climb a mountain, then your trainer would educate you in the knowledge about mountain climbing, help you practice the skills of mountain climbing and would help you develop the mindset of a mountain climber.  A good trainer will help you find a mentor and a coach to help you climb your mountain.

A Mentor is someone experienced and successful in the field you are seeking success in.  If you wanted to climb a mountain, then your mentor would be someone who walks up and down the mountain every day.  They are someone who can advise you of opportunities and dangers ahead.  They help you see around corners, they help you manage sensitive political situations, by means of their experience in such matters.  A good mentor will introduce you to people who will help you and they will be your advocate and referee.

A Coach is different.  They are someone skilful in the art of asking you questions that unlock your best thinking, your passion and your focus.  If you wanted to climb a mountain, then your coach would be someone who is skilled in helping people get the best out of themselves. They may not know about your mountain, but they know a lot about people.  They help you maintain your focus and clarity about your end result.  They hold you accountable to keeping your word about your actions.  They help you bring your best thinking to your actions.  A good coach will help you learn fast about your mountain, the people you will meet along the way….and yourself.

 A good fit is preferable in a Training relationships.  A relationship of mutual respect has a huge and positive impact on the transfer of knowledge.  But if you are a focused and skilled learner, you will be able to learn from most structured learning situations.

A good fit is essential in Mentoring and Coaching relationships.  You need to have respect for and be inspired by your coach and your mentor.  It's essential or the process simply won't work. Your coach and mentor both need to respect who you are and be inspired by you.

Both are practical and results based.  They simply have different functions.  A good mentor will encourage you to get a coach and a good coach will encourage you to get a mentor, in conjunction with their best efforts.

Usually a mentor is an unpaid advisor; they give their services and wisdom as part of their succession plan or for the general health of their organisation or industry. In short, you are at the mercy of their generosity with their time and attention.

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