Byron's Babbles

Coaching vs. Mentoring

Posted in Coaching by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on March 17, 2010

Yesterday I had the incredible opportunity to be in involved in one of the greatest experiences of my life. My good friends at the Kevin Eikenberry Group – – invited me to be a part of their Coach & Be Coached: Coaching to Achieve Remarkable Performance – for others and yourself – – webinar. The line-up was the “whose who” of leadership of coaching.

I would like to share a thought that I had afterward:

Betty Clipman, Past International President of Sweet Adelines International and one of the presenters, made a comment that she was glad we were finally getting coaching back since mentoring had gone away, or something like that. Therefore, I looked up the word mentor – a wise and trusted counselor. Then I looked up coach – besides being a railroad car, it says: one who trains or directs athletic teams; one who gives private instruction; to train, instruct, or teach.  Not a lot of difference, right? So why is mentoring now not the word of the day, but coaching is?

Here’s the reason for the comments: In education, as with a lot of other areas people cringe when they here mentoring and when mentoring programs talked about.  So why have people left mentoring and moved over to coaching? I’ll tell you what I believe. Many look at mentoring and coaching as a “thing.”  “Things” are not sustainable. Yesterday, the seminar drove home the fact that coaching must not be a “thing,” but a relationship, specific, appropriate, continual, and lifelong. Far from being a “thing,” it is a never-ending journey or process. 

2 Responses

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  1. Kevin Eikenberry said, on March 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Byron – Frist of all, it was our pleasure to have you as a part of our analyst team! As a reflection on your point, some people wil think of coaching as a “thing” it is something you do when you hae a problem or a specific challenge. It is seen as something you need to do to solve something.

    But high performers think something entirely different. They realize, as you shared that coching is never-ending. The coach may change, but the need for coaching – to reach ther potential – never goes away.

    Thanks for your wise insights.

    Kevin 🙂


  2. Taylor Stapleton said, on March 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    i really enjoyed reading your blog.


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