This is the definitive introduction to coaching and mentoring, written by an experienced and multidisciplinary team. Taking you all the way through from the emerging theory to informed practice, the book covers:  • Skills, purposes and outcomes of coaching and mentoring processes  • The many settings in which they take place – public, private and voluntary  • Coaching and mentoring’s evidence base and how it is assessed  • The professionalization of coaching and mentoring and a move towards integration. Supported by a wide range of case studies, activities, further questions and topics for discussion, this book is a comprehensive but accessible introduction. The authors take a critical approach and go beyond the basics, to support your development as a critically reflective practitioner. It is essential reading for those studying coaching and mentoring, and professionals looking to integrate coaching and mentoring into their organizations.

Why Coaching and Mentoring? Why Now?

Why Coaching and Mentoring? Why Now?

Chapter outline

  • The notion of discourse
  • Tracking the discourse in mentoring
  • The Middle Ages and on …
  • Tracking the discourses of coaching
  • The rise and rise of coaching and mentoring
  • Towards integration and distinctiveness
  • Distinctiveness?


Discourse, social context, history

Chapter objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Understand and appreciate the complex history of mentoring and coaching
  • Appreciate that they are both social constructions
  • Understand that a single definition is not possible
  • Elucidate some arguments for the development of mentoring and coaching in modern society
  • Engage in critical debate about coaching and mentoring


In this chapter, we explore the historical basis of both coaching and mentoring through an analysis of their historical discourses and contexts. We consider the implications of these discourses on modern constructions ...

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