Coaching Versus Mentoring - Essay Sample

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University of Richmond
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Coaching and mentoring are essential in the place of work in developing and retaining employees which is beneficial to the employer in achieving high achieving staff. Coaching differs from mentoring because coaching is task oriented as it focusses on particular issues such as effective management, learning how to think strategically, and speaking accurately. These concerns last for a short time depending on the coaching relationship and requires a content expert who has the ability of teaching so that the person being coached develops these skills.

Contrastively, mentoring is relationship oriented as it provides an environment where the mentoree shares the issues that affect professional and personal success such as self-perception and self-confidence which are developed over an extended period (Donner & Wheeler, 2009). Additionally, coaching is performance driven because it is meant to unlock the potential of a person and maximize on performance (Whitmore, 2009). When the required skills have been achieved, the coach is no longer needed. Mentoring, on the other hand, is development driven as it does not only develop the person for the current role, but also for future assignments.

Coaching is useful in a healthcare setting where the different players in this sector such as nurses and physicians engage themselves. For instance, nurses coach patients to achieve their goals. They instill in them how to take charge of their health by using their content in teaching the patients on customized healthcare improvement plans and provide support and education to them to make changes and improve their health. Donner and Wheeler (2009) argue that in a nurse-patient relationship, the clients articulate their needs and the nurse asks questions that are instrumental in helping the client to achieve skills which move the client forward. Another form of coaching is the healthcare professionals coaching where experienced coaches are deployed to hospitals to assist the healthcare professionals in life-work balance and deliver patient-centered care. The role of the coach is to draw the strength of the physicians, foster creative problem-solving skills, enhance self-awareness, and help them in the maximization of skills and knowledge in handling the challenges they face.

Mentorship in healthcare takes different forms. For instance, peer mentorship is done for a person new to a place or job by an experienced mentor. In healthcare, new nurses in the profession or student nurses are mentored by experienced nurses. This helps the new nurses in advancing their nursing practice through the promotion of learning. This relationship enhances professional development and collaboration allowing the skilled nurses to enrich the lives of the young nurses through the transfer of knowledge. The role of the mentor, in this case, is to support, challenge, and encourage the new nurses to improve the quality of patient care.

Another example of mentorship program is the Carpeta Roja, a community-based peer mentoring program developed by Latino Health Access in Santa Ana, California. This program has been implemented in a variety of healthcare organizations across the United States and is meant to mentor patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (Knox et al., 2015). Mentors who have recovered from diabetes meet clients and learn from their rehabilitation and recovery as well as providing education and support opportunities intended to improve their health.

Mentors can influence achievement indirectly by providing motivation and support to their clients. They foster identity development by instilling values, behavior, and encourage educational and occupational aspirations. These goals are not specified, the outcomes are unmeasured, and lasts a long time, sometimes even for life because of a change in behavior last forever. If the person being mentored works in an organization, the institution benefits indirectly because the focus is exclusively on the mentoree who observes the modeled actions of the mentor and learns indirectly from them.


Donner, G. J., & Wheeler, M. M. (2009). Coaching in Nursing: An Introduction. Geneva: International Council of Nurses.

Knox, L., Huff, J., Graham, D., Henry, M., Bracho, A., Henderson, C., & Emsermann, C. (2015). What Peer Mentoring Adds to Already Good Patient Care: Implementing the Carpeta Roja Peer Mentoring Program in a Well-Resourced Health Care System. The Annals of Family Medicine, 13(Suppl_1), S59-S65. doi:10.1370/afm.1804

Whitmore, J. (2009). Coaching for Performance: Growing Human Potential and Purpose: The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey.

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