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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Counselor or Mentor

SCORE South Palm Beach uses the term “Counselor” to define the people who work with clients. Some other SCORE chapters use the term “Mentor”. So what is the difference? Some Councilors or Mentors define themselves as “Certified” what does this mean?

The American Counseling Association conference delegates in 2010 agreed that “Counseling” is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals to accomplish goals. I was surprised that there was an American Counseling Association, but interested that they found it necessary to define the term. The Oxford Dictionaries defines a “Counselor” as a person trained to give guidance. That seems simple to understand.

Wikipedia defines “Mentoring” as a process that always involves communication and is relationship based. But goes on to state that the precise definition is elusive. The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring says “Mentoring” is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning so they may maximize their potential.

The Association of American Medical Colleges found it necessary to define the difference and added “Advising” to the mix: “Advising” they say is informational and exploratory, setting goals, evaluating obstacles and providing guidance; “Mentoring” is an ongoing relationship defined by extensive support and encouragement; “Counseling”, they say, is the most complex and involved form of helping by trained professionals to overcome problems that interfere with success.

Bottom line, call them what ever you wish, all SCORE Counselors and Mentors provide valuable assistance in running a business. Remember these are people who are experienced leaders of industry. The South Palm Beach Chapter exerts substantial energy in training.

ALL SCORE Counselors and Mentors are “Certified” by the national organization after passing a test to insure understanding of the principals.

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor, Mentor and Certified as well

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