Teaching, Training, Coaching, and Mentoring: Let’s Be Clear about What’s What!

coaching vs mentoringHave you ever stopped wondering what the difference between teaching, training, coaching and mentoring is?

I use these terms to formulate my offers, but never before I clarified the difference. Recently, I was asked to make a speech on mentoring under the program called Pathways in the Toastmasters International organization. That’s where I got the idea that I need to clarify these terms for my online audiences as well. I collected definitions of these terms from the web and I’ll give examples about how I teach, train, coach, and mentor. This article will also help you understand if we would be a good match to work together.

Teaching vs Training

In my practice, I like combining these two. As a visionary leader, I see big pictures. In order to communicate my vision, I structure it in charts or I deliver structured speeches illustrating them using digital presentations or props. That way I draw attention to the concept so that I can get my audiences to become interested in the detail. Thus, first, I cause interest, then I transfer my theoretical knowledge as a teacher and train.  Coaching and training beginners is my passion

It makes sense to me to provide training after I’ve shown the big picture. It also matches my entrepreneurial experience. First, we provide instructions and only then we assign tasks. That provides clarity for everyone.

The programs where I teach and train:

As a teacher of Latvian, I had the same approach. I created online courses where I explained sounds, writing in my Sounds & Writing course, and grammatical structures in my L4ES course. Only then, I carried out tutoring and training sessions where students constructed sentences or translated texts.

As a business expert, I am leading a team that works on developing an online program for virtual assistants. At the beginning of the course, we’ll explain how online business is structured and how to understand the client’s vision. Once a virtual assistant has a grasp of it, she can serve her client better.

Coaching vs Mentoring

To explain the difference in how coaches and mentors serve, I’ll quote the Pathways program that I mentioned above. Namely,

“Coaches are responsible for protégés meeting a specific short-term goal. The type of goal that a coach can most effectively facilitate is skills-based and specific.”

According to the Pathways,

“A mentor’s role is to support a protégé as he takes personal responsibility for working toward the accomplishment of broader goals over a sustained period of time.”

In summary: “Coaching can be part of mentorship, but mentors are not coaches.

My Experience while mentoring and being mentored

A business relationship in which I’ve been in the role of a mentor is with my business partner Irina who started out as my employee in 2011 in the company that I founded in 2006 in Latvia. By the time I moved to the US, Irina had been trained to become the person to administer the business without me being present. She acquired shares of my company in 2014 when I visited Latvia. As business partners, we continue to meet online to discuss direction and success, but the company runs without me.

My experience as a mentee or protege is related to my career as a public speaker. My mentor in this area is the Distinguished Toastmaster Donald McNeill.

Watch the video to see Don McNeill introducing me to speak about mentoring. You’ll also hear me saying why Don agreed to be my mentor: he thought I will contribute to our mentorship relationship so that he can grow too.

Can I Be Your Coach?

I do offer coaching for leaders and managers who want to implement change. With my skills and competences, I can best serve leaders or managers who need to implement and communicate their vision and change.

before our work together, I will ask that you do the Meyers-Briggs Personality test.

According to this test, there are 16 personality types. Each of them belongs to one of the following groups: Analysts, Diplomats, Sentinels, and Explorers.

Your personality type can change over time. I have tested myself several times, and from my results, I can see how I have evolved. I used to be an introvert, but now I test as 51% extrovert and only 49% introvert. Yet, I always test either as one of the Analyst or Diplomat types. Therefore, the way I explain things may resonate with you better if you also belong to one of these groups.

Entrepreneurs and coachesThere is no need to worry if you belong to the group of Sentinels or Explorers. My business partner Irina falls under the category of Sentinels. But if you want to look for someone else, a talented coach I can recommend with confidence is Kimberley Taylor from the UK.

I met Kimberley at the event for Marie Forleo’s B-Schoolers organized by Amy Porterfield. We stayed in touch and last year I got a coaching session with her. Coaching is valuable for everyone, even seasoned online entrepreneurs. That’s what Amy has stressed multiple times in her podcasts.

To Summarize:

Teaching differs from training in that theoretical knowledge is provided through teaching while in training the focus is on practical skills. For the best results, there should be a mix of both.

Coaches focus on short-term goals while mentorship focuses on broader goals. Mentoring comprises coaching, but coaches are not mentors.

We are working on an online program for virtual assistants. The course will stand out in that virtual assistants will be taught about the business as an organism so that they can communicate better with the business representative who assigns the tasks.

I coach leaders and managers who want to implement change. In order to decide if you want me to be your coach, take Meyers-Briggs Personality test and see if you belong to the group of Analysts or Diplomats.

In order to contact me and discuss how we can work together, please go to the Services page and fill out the form to contact me.



Ilze Be is an intuitive life coach, trainer, and public speaker. Latvian born, she moved to the USA in 2013 and made it there from scratch. As a life coach, Ilze Be works with leaders and managers to create change and live a more fulfilling life. Being a patriot of the Latvian language, Ilze Be has created digital courses for English-speaking learners of Latvian. She also coaches some of them.

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