In the world of personal and professional development, coaching, mentoring, and training each play unique roles. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right approach for your needs.


Definition: Coaching is a structured process focused on helping individuals achieve specific goals through self-discovery and action planning. It involves asking powerful questions and facilitating solutions.

When to Use: Use coaching when you need personalized support to achieve specific objectives, improve performance, or develop new skills. It’s ideal for enhancing leadership, career progression, and personal growth.

Example: Erickson’s coaching programs, which use a solution-focused approach to drive transformation.


Definition: Mentoring involves a more experienced individual (the mentor) providing guidance, advice, and support to a less experienced person (the mentee). It’s typically a long-term relationship focused on career and personal development.

When to Use: Use mentoring when seeking wisdom and guidance from someone who has navigated similar career paths or challenges. It’s beneficial for career development, knowledge transfer, and personal growth.

Example: A senior executive mentoring a junior manager on career progression and leadership skills.


Definition: Training is a structured program designed to impart specific skills or knowledge. It often involves formal instruction, practice, and assessment.

When to Use: Use training when there is a need to learn new skills or knowledge quickly and efficiently. It’s ideal for onboarding, technical skill development, and compliance requirements.

Example: A corporate training session on new software implementation.

When to Use Each Approach

  • Coaching is best for individualized development and achieving specific goals.
  • Mentoring is suited for long-term career and personal growth through experienced guidance.
  • Training is ideal for acquiring new skills and knowledge in a structured environment.

Blending Approaches

In many cases, blending coaching, mentoring, and training can provide comprehensive development. For instance, an Erickson coach can help you set and achieve personal goals, while mentoring can provide ongoing career guidance, and training can equip you with necessary skills.

Choosing the Right Path with Erickson

At Erickson Coaching International, we specialize in coaching that empowers individuals to achieve their fullest potential. Our programs are designed to complement other development methods like mentoring and training, ensuring a holistic approach to your growth.