By conversational focus I mean whether I seek to build another’s capacity through focusing on the issue at hand together, or on that person who is exploring the issue. The following images represent an issue, a seeker or mentee, and a coach or mentor. The arrows indicate direction of focus.
I see mentoring as content-focused; a mentee will ask for help around a specific issue and the mentor will look at that issue and engage shoulder to shoulder, looking together at it.
In coaching on the other hand, a seeker brings an issue forward and the coach keeps focus on the person, who is then focused on the issue.