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Mentor or a coach?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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Mentor or Coach

Mentor or Coach, Which Do I Need?

When it comes to accountability, no shortcut can get you everything you need. The process of accountability must be met with hard work and a dedicated and positive mindset. This will ensure significant progress and success. Sometimes, when we tackle the challenges of incorporating accountability into our life or business, it is wise to acquire the help of an individual who has gone through the process themselves and knows how to help you reach your goals easier.

In this post, we will review the differences between a Coach and a Mentor. Find out what situations are best suited to their different roles for your life or business.

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The Differences

The difference between a Coach and a Mentor is not in the process or method of working. It’s in the extent to which they are directly involved in the accountability process of your teams of yourself. Coaching is more performance driven, designed to improve the professional’s on-the-job performance. Mentoring is more development driven. Mentors look not just at the professional’s current job function but beyond, taking a more holistic approach to career development.

The Mentor

In the workplace (or at home during COVID), a Mentor will take a more indirect approach and work by equipping your teams with the knowledge they need while evaluating their progress from a distance.

If the Mentor thinks that their direct involvement is required at any moment, they will bring the matter to attention and guide you or your staff on how to execute a certain action or solve a specific problem correctly.

The Coach

A Coach takes a more involved and direct approach to accountability at home or the workplace. An accountability coach will directly guide you in all matters and actions. They will keep an eye on your or your team’s progress. A coach will help your team gain more significant results through continuous optimization and learning.

Best Suited for a Mentor

Situations and requirements that suit and merit a Mentor’s services are best defined as when your team already has some relevant experience and knowledge when it comes to accountability and does not require constant learning and monitoring to find the right groove.

If you or your team are familiar with the fundamental concepts and practical aspects of accountability and require a little help from time to time to sort out new problems, the services of a Mentor are the right choice.

Best Suited for a Coach

Situations that merit a Coach’s services are defined as when you and your teams are just setting off on your accountability journey and need someone to directly guide the way and teach you and your teams how to implement the concepts and practices of accountability. When you and your team are both new to the world of accountability and prefer to learn and improve as you go along, it is best to choose the services of an accountability coach in this situation.


Choosing either a Coach or a Mentor eventually falls to your personal preferences and requirements. Using the short guidelines mentioned above, you can evaluate your needs and decide the best fit for the situation. If you’re looking for guidance, support and insights from someone who’s been there, there’s no substitute for a mentor. If you need a trained practitioner to provide accountability, a professional coach is the ideal candidate. Individuals seeking help and support often turn to a variety of resources to achieve results.

The goal is to find the most practical, convenient, and most comfortable way to incorporate accountability in your personal life and for your business environment. We hope that you will find the article informative, and we wish you good luck with your journey.