Are you a coach or a trainer? Do you do coaching or training?

Since our recent launch, the question asked most by curious NGOs has been: “What exactly do you do? Is it coaching? training? mentoring?”.

We’ve been fortunate to work with — and to learn from— many good coaches, trainers, and mentors across a range of discplines and sectors. What we do is a little different.

Coaches focus on identifying, repairing, and/or improve specific problems within one or more areas of an organization. They usually work with leaders and boards. They are talented people from outside the organization who bring authority, legitimacy, credibility, and influence needed for high-level and/or sensitive concerns.

Trainers focus on sharing knowledge about specific subjects, concepts, and skills with groups or teams. The are talented and informed subject matter experts who often work internally with management and staff for a fixed period of time.

Mentors focus on developing the professional confidence and capacity of individuals. They are usually sought for their ability to build a relationship of trust and confidence with people who seek guidance, reinforcement, and validation in their work over time.

The biggest difference between a coach and a trainer is in both the scope and the time. Mentors get to know a person on a deeper level, and they stick with the commitment until they’re no longer needed. Mentors scale back their relationship as their mentee makes progress, but they don’t necessarily rush that progress if their mentee isn’t ready for it. Ideally, the two people should develop a friendship after the official mentoring is over.

So what is Business English for NGOs? Depending on the type of need, we work with organizations, teams, or specific individuals. Sometimes we have an opportunity to work with the coaches, trainers, mentors, consultants, and advisors also helping an organization.

Ultimately, we are focused on helping organizations to develop plans, identify options, and navigate challenges towards their development goals. Consider us as a scout, a guide, and a partner for your NGO’s organizational development success.