Mentors & Coaches

Coaching and mentoring nugges from the information badger

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.