photo credit:calsidyrose via flickr
Who’s Your Mentor?
I asked a client that the other week. They looked at me funny.
“Our business is doing great. Why do I need a mentor?”they asked.
I found it strange they didn’t think they needed a mentor. We had an interesting conversation that I’m privileged to share here with their consent.
We talked about what a mentor was. In their eyes it was someone older to answer questions. They confessed in their corporate job,they were assigned mentors with dismal results. Their previous mentors talked more about themselves than their mentees.
I asked them what they thought the difference between a mentor and a coach was. This stumped them. They thought they were the same thing.
The difference had always been clear to me,but talking to my client I learned how easily these two roles can be confused.
A coach is a person focused on performance development of an individual. There is usually a set goal and agenda for the meetings. Think of a sports coach. They work to enhance the performance of the individual to win the game.
The #1 benefit of working with a coach is increased performance. There is a measurable difference between when you start with a coach and when you end. The difference could be reflected in increased sales,productivity,organization or newly learned skills.
A mentor is a guide,usually more experienced who is focused on the entire individual not just on one area. A mentor provides broader insights,suggestions and advice to their protege. Think of a sports legend taking a rookie “under their wing.”
The #1 benefit of having a mentor is their experience. They are your guide,compass,and trouble shooter. A mentoring relationship is usually a longer term relationship that can span entire professional careers
They Are Both Important.
Utilizing coaches and mentors for your professional development are both important. Although it’s tempting to try and do it alone,you get much farther with less stress by tapping into the resources around you.
Can you think of a couple areas where you could benefit from a coach or a mentor? I know I can.
Because of the isolation small business owners can experience,it’s even more important for you to seek out a mentor.
The Keys to Effective Coaching and Mentoring Relationships
In order for either relationship to be effective,you need to be willing to learn,able to accept feedback and most important share what’s not working.
Many of you many find being vulnerable like this intimidating. I’m not going to lie,it can be. Pouring out your struggles to another is admitting you can’t do it alone. Hiding these facts,not asking the questions,or not sharing your true obstacles only hurt you.
In my career I’ve had some fabulous coaches and mentors. They have shaped the way I do business today.
But I’m also always on the lookout for my next teachers. When I don’t know how to do something or want to improve an area,I look for a coach. As I grow,I also look for new mentors. Those people who have done it before me and can help me along the path.
Something special for you.
As many of you know I already coach and teach small business owners,but starting in June I’m offering two mentoring slots for a minimum of 6 months.
This opportunity to work with me as your mentor is a free offer. It will be a formal arrangement with an informal feel. What that means is there will be some guidelines to our meetings,but you get to drive the format.
To be considered for this opportunity,all you need to do is submit the 2012 Life Simplified Mentoring Program Application including why you think I would be a good mentor for you. The essays must be emailed to me no later than midnight eastern standard time on June 1st. Winners will be contacted on June 4th via email.
For more information,check out the Life Simplified Website.