Coaching is a powerful, collaborative relationship between a coach and a willing individual or group which enables, through a process of discovery and strategic actions, the realization of extraordinary results. Coaching is also a body of knowledge, a technology and a style of relating that focuses on the development of human potential. Simply put, coaching is an ongoing partnership that is 100% focused on YOU and how to create more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.
Click here for a great analogy to further help explain the differences.
Coaching is similar to consulting, however, the coach is focused on WHO YOU ARE as well as WHAT YOU DO. Where consultants traditionally tell you what needs to be done, a coach will help you develop a plan for what needs to be done according to who you are, then helps you get it done without doing it for you. Having a consultant is a great idea for certain projects where you have limited expertise, but for creating a life fully in line with your integrity and your vision, only a coach will do.
A mentor is someone who has been down the path you are currently on and has reached a level on that path that you want for yourself. A mentor tells a person how they did it and how people they know did it. A mentor is a great thing to have, but a mentor does not necessarily find your full potential and coax it out of you the way a coach is trained to do. Coaching takes into account that no path is the same for any person to any place. Having a mentor is a great idea, but always take into account that their path may not be the right path for you.