Mehrzad Ferdows says: “Mentors are usually people who specialize in a particular field (such as a business) and have gained insight into their work, and while freely sharing specialized experiences, they also influence a person’s character and vision. In the past, we saw this role a lot in the traditional Iranian market. People who were so-called masters and taught their students both the principles of work and the nature of doing it.”
In coaching, the main focus is more on strengthening one or more individual competencies and is a supportive relationship for the person to perform with higher quality under the coaching and achieve the defined goal. Therefore, coaches usually work on the individual abilities of persons, their attitudes toward issues, helping to develop these capabilities and creating deep-rooted changes in the individual. Usually, in coaching, a mutual commitment is formed and a goal is specified, while in mentoring, this relationship is more freely defined and may not necessarily lead to a specific goal, but each session of the conversation and communication itself can have a specific impact.
Mehrzad Ferdows says: “Someone in the leadership position needs some important qualifications. The first is to have expertise in that work. This specialty is defined for mentors in their profession while for coaches it is the coaching specialty. But in both coaching and mentoring, the power of guidance with questioning and support in the path are two important capabilities that people should be aware of. If a person is to evolve steadily, simply providing ready-made answers and cross-sectional accommodations will not help the person, which will also lead to the formation of a harmful attachment. The most significant skill of a mentor should be to create questions and support the authorities along the way to find answers. Therefore, neither the coach nor the mentor to put himself in the position of the omniscient, and not to simply provide ready-made food and help the person to increase his abilities along the way.”
Support in these relationships also means being available, showing signs, listening effectively and beyond, understanding the clients, and empathizing with them in a way that the client understands that they can talk to their coach in a safe environment. Another important issue that mentors and educators should pay special attention to is honestly attending meetings and giving honest feedback. Honest conversation can sometimes be painful, Making the most positive impact possible on clients is the art of a mentor and a coach who always maintains a supportive position while speaking honestly.
He can have one or more mentors in different fields simultaneously depending on the client’s important topics: a marketing mentor or a service design mentor, but in coaching, because the focus is more on individual competencies, it is usually necessary to work with only one instructor at a time. Therefore, in specialized fields, it is possible to have different coaches, but in the field of personal growth, increasing efficiency, and recognizing strengths and weaknesses, it is better to continue working with a coach at a time.
Mentoring is usually categorized as formal and informal. Formal mentoring is a pre-designed organizational program that is defined to increase the quality of performance of a company’s personnel using the sharing and guidance of experienced employees and is specifically supported and guided by the organization. Informal mentoring may always be confusing and repetitive for each of them so that usually everyone knows experienced people who ask questions, and this is a form of informal mentoring that occurs in both organizations and outside organizations, in specialized associations and groups.
In the field of startups, mentors usually work with several motives. First, if there are experienced people who have taken the path themselves, based on their social responsibilities and beliefs, they decide to help their country’s business environment by supporting young people. Others are hired by an organization or investor to lead groups, while others see mentoring as investing in a start-up business and receive a share of that business in return for the time they spend.
The coach’s focus is on your competencies and the mentor’s focus is on your expertise and wisdom. At least I’m not familiar with a standard that says under what circumstances one should choose, and the fact is that in practice the line between a mentor and a coach is very blurred. As an example, if a mentor is aware of the principles of coaching, he can play both roles at the same time; or a coach can also be a mentor in a particular industry based on his experience. So it’s hard to draw a line. But in general, it can be said that the role of a mentor can be prominent for starting a business; and the role of a coach becomes more crucial for continuing the business.