What is Mentoring, Coaching and Moaching?

Ian Munro, our Non-Executive Director shares an overview on the differences between Mentoring, Coaching and Moaching.  In our experience organisations often confuse mentoring with coaching and vice versus. Here is a quick outline of the differences.



Mentoring is often provided by a more senior person from within the organisation. They bring a depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise of the organisation.

  • The mentor often comes from a related part of the organisation but often not from within the same unit. This means they may have a different view on an issue than your team.
  • Mentoring relationships tend to be for a longer period than coaching. The benefit is that a stronger relationship can be developed.
  • Time pressures on the Mentor can lead to shallow discussions and contributions.
  • The Mentor may not have been trained as a mentor, nor had continual professional development.



Coaches tend to be external consultants and therefore are totally independent from the sponsoring organisation – unless employed as internal coaches.

  • Coaches will work with you to help you create the solutions to your challenges.
  • Coaching programmes are goal focused for the coaching period with three-way assessments and at the beginning and end with the sponsor.
  • Coaching programmes can last from three months to over twelve months – with defined goals.
  • If an external coaches, they will not be over familiar with the organisations culture


How do you know if you need a Mentor or a Coach?        

  • Are your objectives/goals short term 6-9 months or 12-18 months?
  • Will the results need to be delivered in a tight time window in which case coaching may be the best option for you?


So, what on Earth is Moaching?

  • Moaching works as a blend of mentoring and coaching particularly when you are time pressed and need to see some options in the short term. Coaches Moach but mentors do not.
  • You will be able to fast track three to four options to your challenge if your coach operates as a Moach.
  • It is only a short-term measure to help you resolve a short-term issue by the coach pointing you at two or three solutions.
  • Do not use it too often. For coaching to be beneficial you have to be prepared to allocate adequate time before and after each session.


If you want to see the full version of this article then take a look at our book 100+ Top Tips on Managing Your Coaching Needs.