“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” — Benjamin Disraeli
- A Coach or Mentor and those they coach or mentor all learn and benefit from a coaching or mentoring relationship.
- The terms Coach and Mentor are often used interchangeably; this simple distinction may help:
- A Coach can be your manager; coaching tends to be short term, task-based, and objectives oriented.
- A Mentor has no management relationship with you; they are an experienced person acting as a neutral confidential sounding board and adviser.
- Some people are natural and effective Coaches or Mentors, others aren’t suited to the roles but like having it on their CV; make sure yours is one of the former.
- Have a Mentor – an independent sounding board with extensive life and business experience will enhance your personal development, self awareness & confidence.
- Good Coaches and Mentors want to help you develop and succeed; they evaluate, motivate, facilitate, and are good listeners, self-reflective, discrete, honest and open, curious, and are generous with their time.
- Don’t expect a Coach or Mentor to do your work for you, or teach you everything; if you have that expectation you will get no benefit from coaching or mentoring.
- A Coach or Mentor is not there to massage or inflate your ego; expect them to give you uncompromising feedback and ask awkward questions when necessary.
- A Coach or Mentor that is indiscreet or breaks confidentialities should not be performing the role; raise this with them but end the relationship.
- A formal written agreement with your Coach or Mentor can be useful at the outset; consider establishing one if both parties believe it will be of help.
- If there’s no chemistry or spark with your Coach or Mentor, or the relationship doesn’t work for some reason, don’t give up on coaching or mentoring as concepts – find an alternative Coach/Mentor.
- Good Coaches and Mentors take their role and responsibilities seriously; they have an indelible impact and get personal satisfaction when their wisdom is appreciated.
- Successful coaching or mentoring requires you and your Coach or Mentor to be actively committed to making it work; if one party isn’t then it’s a waste of time.
- A relationship with a Mentor built on trust, honesty, integrity, and confidentiality can last for years; the best mentors become trusted sounding boards for ever.