Coaching, Mentoring, Training

Differentiation between Training, Coaching and Mentoring.

There are numerous ‘schools of thought’ about the difference between these three interventions and here is my view.


Training is normally carried out with a group of participants and is designed to improve knowledge and /or skill in a given subject. It may involve some lecture but also group work and discussion.


Coaching is about helping a person to consider their future aims or goals maybe work related or maybe life direction or just wanting to become more assertive in certain situations. Carried out on a one to one basis mainly using a non-directive style working on the assumption that the Coachee (the person being coached) has most of the answers but just doesn’t realise. However a more directive style may be required if the Coachee knows very little about the topic they wish to work on.


Mentoring is a personal development relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a Mentee (the person being mentored) who is less experienced or less knowledgeable. For example I may be able to mentor a doctor on improving communication skills or maybe running effective meetings but I wouldn’t be any use as a mentor for any clinical subject as I’m not a doctor!