“A mentor helps you understand how to navigate your organization, a sponsor helps advocate for you, and a coach is there to help you develop both the skills and the thinking acumen to be able to perform well.”

Have you been a mentor, sponsor or coach in your organization? Or maybe you have been on the receiving end? What differences or similarities have you experienced? Which relationship have you found to be most helpful in your career?


Making the distinction between what is a mentor, a coach and a sponsor.
A mentor is typically a person within the same organization who can offer information about the organization and serve as an advisor to the mentee.
Reverse mentoring occurs when a younger employee teaches an older employee something they may not know – this can also help the younger employee make senior connections within the organization.
Formalizing mentoring through technology, profile development and matching.
Building teams of middle managers to support each other is critical to ensure success in organizational change.
A sponsor is someone who is more active in advocating for a person’s career – they are advising the organization.
A mentor and a sponsor require different skill-sets and are typically not the same person.
A coach helps identify the areas of skill that a person needs to get better at in order to do their job effectively.
A manager may or may not be able to fill the role of a mentor, sponsor or coach.