Mentoring vs coaching in business start-ups, By Abraham A.O.




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Prof Abraham A.O.

Proving mentorship or coaching to existing or up-coming entrepreneurs or business start-ups require your key understanding of the concepts, intention and practice of each, if you are on the giving side. Same way, anyone need of mentorship or coaching from a higher, experienced or more experienced professional, should first understand what he/she really needs, before seeking the free or paid service of one. Mentoring may be close, but not same as coaching, just as training is not really same as “speaking”.


Mentoring is distinguished as different from coaching. It is the transfer of knowledge/experience from a more experienced colleague to another. Coaching…focuses on the individual finding their own resolution, guided by the coach. Hicks and McCracken (2009) do expand on their own definition of mentoring by using descriptions such as trusted friend and counsellor to elaborate, potentially creating further confusion between the terms mentoring counselling.


Thomas and Saslow (2007) suggest mentoring is about transferring information between people varying amounts of experience. Hicks and McCracken (2009) Thomas and Saslow’s (2007) definition: Mentoring is defined as a relationship between two people which a more experienced person agrees to support the development of a less experienced person, traditionally viewed as a protégé and today often referred to as a “mentee” (Thomas and Saslow, 2007: 23).
Mentoring can occur quite naturally and does not necessarily have to be formalised by recognising the relationship as thus.


Coaching continues to evolve, achieving great results by increasing performance business start- ups. Proclaiming a clear cut definition of coaching could prove too constricting and inhibit the flexible and eclectic approach has steered the success of coaching to date. Coaching continues to grow organically and currently unregulated, nurtured by psychology trained and non-psychology trained professionals from neighbouring disciplines (i.e. mentoring, counselling and therapy) and business; guided by a number of bodies who continue to promote standards of conduct and research into coaching.

If coaching is misunderstood by decision makers and business leaders, efforts should be focused on educating them about what coaching is; discussing realistic expectations and recognising the impact coaching can have on performance and development. It is anticipated that, as the evidence-based research on coaching increases, so will the understanding of this approach.

Do you need a mentor or coach who can guide you through your business ideas, conceptualisation, planning, strategising, implementation, management, supervision and result-oriented operations? Understand what you want, get the right mentor or coach and succeed!

Prof Abraham O. A is the author of Effective Coaching for New Start-Ups: A Research Handbook for Coaches, Trainers & Mentors. Notionpress.com / amazon.com. He
is a board advisor to institutions, Ph.D Examiner (Barathiar University, India), mentor – book authoring (GAU Publishing, UAE) & business start-up/recruitment consultant.