The coach, the tutor and the mentor are popular terms these days! More and more companies are using them in their employees’ development, and individuals are using their services to progress personally and professionally. That said, they are often confused with each other, even though it is true that their work is similar in certain respects. However, in the glossary of human resources, they have their different definitions. Here are their distinctions and some interesting facts about them!

Mentor Coach Tutor infographic

The coach

Whenever this term is used, we immediately think of sports, at the one who motivates the athlete to stay positive, to excel, to win! The coach concept did, however, spread outside the sports arena, so today we use similar approaches to improve in virtually any area of our lives. The coach stands out through his ability to help the individual become aware of the resources he/she has, to learn to mobilize them to improve or achieve a goal. His role is not to transmit a “content” as such, but to help the coached individuals to develop their skills in a method previously agreed with them and, if necessary, with their superiors. The coach must also put in place assessment methods to “measure” the progress made by the coachee.

A character who embodies him: Mr. Miyagi for Daniel LaRusso in the movie The Karate Kid.

Interesting Fact: According to a recent survey of coaches from several countries, only 10% of respondents said that their practice is based on neuroscience principles or psychology. Nevertheless, 85% agreed that neuroscience should be considered in coaching.

The tutor

The tutor provides learning-based training so that the tutee develops knowledge or skills that may be evaluated by the tutor or another body. This relationship is characterized by the desire to help each other to progress, the tutor nevertheless remaining the reference figure. In a workplace, the tutor can help the tutored person transfer his skills into new functions or to adapt to a new environment or new responsibilities.

A character who embodies him: Iron Man for Spider-Man in the movie Homecoming.

Interesting Fact: From 1986 to 2016, the number of tutoring companies in Canada’s largest cities grew with 200 to 500 percent.

The mentor

The mentor is, through his knowledge, experience, and wisdom, a “master” able to guide – in an area in which he has excelled or in a position he has held for a long time within a company – someone less experienced than him. Role model, his part is to transfer his accumulated knowledge and advise the mentoree, without evaluating his progress.

A character who embodies him: Dumbledore for Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series.

Interesting fact: The origins of mentoring go back to ancient Greece. In Homer’s Odyssey, the character of Ulysses, before leaving for the Trojan War, entrusted his best friend with teaching his son, Telemachus. And this friend bore the name of … Mentor!

Catherine Meilleur

Catherine Meilleur

Creative Content Writer @KnowledgeOne. Questioner of questions. Hyperflexible stubborn. Contemplative yogi.