Corporate Coaching v Mentoring


My Answer


Coaching is a process aimed at improving performance and focuses on the present rather than the distant past or future. It centers on the individual and their ideas and opportunities to define goals, set a path, and achieve success. Coaching involves listening, reflecting, asking questions, and unlocking an individual’s potential.

Typically, a coaching conversation might follow the GROW model which leads to deciding on actions using criteria such as the SMART model—specific, measurable, accountable, results-oriented, and time-bound—are often used.


GROW emphasizes a sequential process of setting goals, examining reality, generating options, and committing to actions, providing a comprehensive framework for coaching conversations and action planning.

Goal: Setting a clear and specific goal that the client wants to achieve
Reality: Examining the current reality of the client’s situation, including any challenges or obstacles
Options: Generating a range of potential options and strategies for achieving the goal
Will: Committing to an action plan and holding the client accountable for following through with it


In contrast to other models, PERMA emphasizes positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment, focusing on holistic well-being and flourishing rather than just goal attainment.

Positive Emotions: Focusing on positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, and contentment
Engagement: Engaging in activities that provide a sense of flow and absorption
Relationships: Cultivating positive relationships with others
Meaning: Identifying and pursuing activities that provide a sense of purpose and meaning
Accomplishment: Setting and achieving goals to build self-esteem and confidence


In contrast to other models, CLARITY delves into specific elements such as context, life events, reactions, and identity, providing a deeper understanding of the individual’s situation and facilitating targeted interventions and strategies.

Context: Examining the individual’s context and understanding the factors that have led to their current situation
Life Event: Exploring any significant life events that have impacted the individual’s situation
Actions: Identifying specific actions that the individual needs to take to achieve their goals
Reactions: Examining the individual’s emotional and behavioral reactions to their situation
Images and Identify: Exploring the individual’s self-image and identity
Thoughts: Examining the individual’s thinking patterns and beliefs
Your future choice: Identifying specific actions and strategies to move forward and achieve the desired outcome


Distinct from other models, SPACE integrates social, physical/psychological, cognitive, and emotional aspects, offering a holistic approach to goal achievement by addressing various dimensions of an individual’s well-being and behavior.

Social: Examining the individual’s social context, including relationships with others and their support network
Physical/Psychological: Examining the individual’s physical and psychological health and well-being
Actions: Identifying specific actions that the individual needs to take to achieve their goals
Cognition: Exploring the individual’s thinking patterns, beliefs, and attitudes
Emotion: Examining the individual’s emotional state and identifying ways to manage emotions and increase resilience

There are many, many other models!


Mentoring, like coaching, focuses on placing the client at the centre of attention and involves deep listening. It aims to help them solve their problems, reach goals, and set their own path. However, mentoring differs in that the mentor brings their skills, talents, and experience to the conversation. They may share stories, lessons, and observations, which the client can use to create their own solutions.


In contrast to Mentoring, coaching does not involve offering advice or direction but rather involves asking questions and allowing the client to be the main resource for information and insight. However, it’s important to note that a coach who withholds information or fails to provoke awareness is not particularly helpful. Coaching is relational; you are meant to bring your whole self into the room and work as a thinking, feeling partner with the client. While not necessarily providing clear direction, there is a role for provoking awareness, as long as the client is the one choosing their path.

It should be recognized that the above definition of coaching provided aligns closely with the International Coaching Federation’s (ICF) concept of solution-based coaching. This approach is about setting goals, achieving them, and having a clear purpose, as opposed to methods that might be more therapeutic. There are many styles of coaching, and solution-based coaching, or coaching towards a specific goal using the GROW model, is just one approach and not the only method for structuring coaching conversations.

A Corporate Context

In a corporate setting, coaching involves more than just the coach and the coachee; there might also be a sponsor or other parties funding the coaching. These sponsors typically define the goals, expected outcomes, or measurable outputs of the coaching. However, it’s crucial to understand that the conversations between the coach and coachee remain private and confidential.

While the sponsoring organization may be interested in the outcomes of the coaching sessions, they must obtain updates through standard procedures such as performance reviews or discussions with the coach. They cannot directly inquire about the confidential discussions between the coach and the coachee. This separation is essential because it respects the distinct relationships: the coach and coachee, and the employer and employee. These relationships must be appropriately managed to ensure conversations are held with the right people, at the right time, about the right things, keeping the coach-coachee relationship independent and impartial from the employer-employee relationship, even if their interests may overlap.

Typically the discussion may be about [1] personal management or leadership skills [2] goals, objectives and performance [3] personal or team development or processes.
Coaching or Mentoring to individuals (eg Sponsor, Project Manager, Project Participants) or teams (eg Delivery Team or User Team) can be part of their Training and Development and linked to Personal Development and Performance Review and Appraisal. Or this could be linked to Project Delivery and Performance.

These may be scheduled at key milestones for example

Project Set-Up & Team Building
Key Delivery Phases or Milestones
Project Hand-Over/Go-Live
Project Close/Review