The Manager, The Coach, The Mentor

The Manager, The Coach & The Mentor

How do you manage, coach, and mentor others in the workplace? When you clearly understand the key differences between these roles, it will have a dramatic impact on how you work with other employees and peers and the results you will achieve together.


Understanding the differences between The Manager, The Coach, and The Mentor


The main difference between these roles is based on the relationship between the people involved and the results they want.

For example, in coaching, there is a more personal, one-on-one relationship, which generally lasts for a short period of time and is geared towards achieving personal or professional development.

But in mentoring, the relationship lasts for around a year and is focused on developing specific skills rather than achieving a particular task.

In management, the duration of the relationship depends on the organization structure and goals but the main focus in this role is to achieve operational results. Also, it is a more professional kind of relationship.

Let’s understand each of these roles in-depth:


The Manager


The primary function of a manager is to achieve the goals set by the organization using structure and methodology. The main role of a manager is to provide direction through compliance.

The manager shows the way to get from where we are at right now to where we want to be in the next few years. This may be increasing the market share of a company, decreasing the production costs, hiring better talent, etc.

Managers have to take care of a lot of things when making their decisions: Customer Satisfaction, Financial Resources, Policies and Procedures, Employee Satisfaction, Workplace Safety, and Environment, etc.


The Coach


According to the ICF (International Coach Federation), professional coaching is defined as β€œpartnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.

ICF is an organization that trains and certifies professional coaches and teaches them various methods to become better and more effective coaches.

The main role of a coach is to hold the client accountable and help them achieve their desired outcomes using proven concepts and methodologies.

A lot of companies hire professional coaches these days to improve the skills of their existing employees or to improve their efficiency and build a better team culture.


The Mentor


The main role of a mentor is to share their existing knowledge and experience to help other employees or peers who have a lesser experience.

The age of the mentor is usually more than their mentees, but this is not always true. In some areas, such as social media and technology, younger people have more expertise.

Unlike managers, mentors have a mutually beneficial relationship with their mentees. Both of them gain something out of the mentoring process.

Some companies promote formal mentoring programs to speed up this process. This helps in training the new hires, nurturing potential leaders within a company, retaining employees, promoting diversity, etc.


Understanding the team needs and choosing your role


So, in order to find out which role suits you best, you have to first determine the goals and outcome you want to achieve while working with someone.

Depending upon the situation, one person can wear more than one hat and play all of these roles within a company.

But these roles are best played by separate individuals. Because all of these roles are different in their own way. And when one person tries to play all these roles, they will start colliding with each other and eventually lead to more chaos and overwhelm.


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