Copy of Your Guidance
“Coaching is the universal language of change and learning.“
Finding an outstanding coach and mentor, for both your personal and professional lives, can fast track your results.
From understanding where you are now, where you want to go and the gap in between, a great coach/mentor will help you focus, set and achieve goals and achieve your potential faster.
Coupled with this, a great mastermind group will accelerate your results as you learn first hand from people who have what you want, are on the same journey, and can put you in the fast lane to success.
This is part of your self-leadership strategy. It’s must not left to chance.
Like we have already discussed, relationships are the key influencer in your life.
The benefits of mentoring and coaching are numerous. For individuals, studies have shown that a good coach and mentor can lead to greater career success, including promotions, raises, and increased opportunities.
A great coach and mentor will show you the way and share the secrets of success with you. They believe in you, that you have everything you need within you right now – you simply need to access it – to believe in yourself – to be challenged -to feel uncomfortable and guide you to the top of your performance.
Coaching and mentoring are really important for leaders because, put simply, it brings the best out of the people you lead. They generate confidence, inspire trust and fast-track team development.
Organisations that embrace this are rewarded with higher levels of employee engagement, retention, and knowledge sharing. In fact, mentoring and has proved so beneficial that 71% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs to their employees.
Coaching is a highly trained and practiced skill that helps high performing individuals set and reach personal goals. Coaches help unblock barriers to success and help their clients achieve even more than what they thought possible.
Mentoring is based upon the experiences of the mentor and focuses on developing the mentee in those areas.
They both focus on the individual, they support and draw out, they develop not impose, they are moving towards. Together, they fast track the results of the individual.
How Guidance Drives Success
The best teams in the world have coaches. The best athletes, the best executives and business leaders – they all have coaches and mentors.
When you accept that you don’t know what you don’t know, and are open to learning and growing, then a coach and mentor will show you the way.
It’s important to remember that coaching and mentoring are not magic wands that automatically creates success. The truth is that, to be effective, coaching and mentoring take effort, commitment, specific skills, attitudes, and structure from both the mentor and the mentee. Success happens when both parties take responsibility for making it work.
The Ingredients For Success
Success happens when best practices are in place for the three key ingredients:
- The Coach/Mentor
- The Mentee
- The Relationship
Ingredient #1: What Makes A Good Coach and Mentor?
A good coach and mentor needs to be more than just a successful individual. They must have the disposition and desire to develop other people.
A good coach will mentor and a good mentor will coach.
It requires a willingness to reflect on and share one’s own experiences, including one’s failures. Great mentors must be able to both “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”
To have been where you are – to have lived experience and know what it feels like, what you tell yourself, what you see and hear. They have been in your shoes, moved through and come out the other side.
They have the values, beliefs and standards that resonate with you.
Qualities to look for in a coach and mentor:
- A desire to develop and help others – a good coach and mentor is genuinely interested in helping others so they can succeed as well. They believe in you even when you don’t.
- The ability and availability to commit real time and energy to the mentoring relationship. Good intentions aren’t enough—mentoring takes time!
- Training and learning – there are a lot of coaches and mentors out there without current and relevant industry or organisational knowledge, expertise and skills. The best coaches and mentors have deep knowledge in an area that the mentee wishes to develop from thinking strategies, business growth, leadership development and goal setting.
- A willingness to share failures and personal experiences. Mentors need to share both their “How I did it right” and their “How I did it wrong” stories. Both experiences provide valuable opportunities for learning. They need to be authentic.
- A growth mindset and learning attitude – the best teachers have always been and always will be those who remain curious learners themselves. Would you rather be advised by someone whose mind is shut because they know it all or by someone whose mind is open because they are always looking to deepen her knowledge? Being a coach and mentor means you are a life long learner – always challenging themselves so they can be the best for their clients.
- Skills in developing others – they know how to bring out the best in you. This includes the very real skills of active listening, asking powerful open-ended questions, rapport building, self-reflection, providing feedback and being able to share stories that include personal anecdotes, case studies and examples, and honest insight.
- They keep you accountable, with agreed outcomes and goals. You know what you are aiming for and they guide you on that journey. They benchmark your progress and keep you on track.
Ingredient #2: How Do You Know That Coaching & Mentoring Are Right For You?
Just as there are specific characteristics of a successful coach and mentor, there are attributes and attitudes that show you are ready.
You need to be:
- 100% committed to expanding their capabilities and focused on achieving professional results. Even if you are uncertain or uncomfortable, being 100% committed is what it takes.
- Some people aren’t clear about what they want. Sometimes it’s simply overwhelming or there are fears holding you back. So a coach and mentor will work with you to get clarity around your professional and personal goals, needs, and wants. You must get clear on the outcomes so the coach and mentor can guide you there.
- Willing to ask for help, show vulnerability, and explore different paths and perspectives. This will take courage on your part. You must be open and receptive to learning and trying new ideas. No mentor wants to advise someone who isn’t open to learning!
- Able to seek and accept feedback—even the “constructive” kind—and act upon it. This is a life skill. Acknowledging your relationship with feedback and deciding if it’s where you want it to be is a key to your progress. Being able to receive feedback maturely means you will empower yourself to learn, adjust and keep going.
- Be personally responsible and accountable. You want to see movement and growth, even when it’s uncomfortable. If you say you are going to do something, then do it! Sitting on the side lines in a mentoring relationship is not going to work.
- Ready, willing, and able to meet on a regular basis. Relationships take time to develop, so you must also be committed to upholding their end of the bargain.
Ingredient #3: The Relationship
This relationship must be managed and nurtured.
It is a joint venture that requires both parties to actively attend to its care and feeding.
The chances of creating and sustaining a successful guiding relationship are enhanced by adopting a few simple best practices.
Design. Take the time discuss the structure of the relationship. Both parties need to have a shared understanding of the relationship process.
This means discussing and agreeing things like:
- Contact and response times: Who contacts whom? How? What are acceptable response times?
- Meetings: Where, when, and how often? Are you meeting in person? On the phone? Virtually?
- Confidentiality: What’s shareable and what isn’t?
- Focus: What are the parameters of the mentoring? What’s in and out of bounds?
- Feedback: What are the expectations around giving and receiving feedback?
- Goals and accountability: What would each party want from this experience? How does the mentee want the mentor to hold them accountable? How does the mentor want the mentee to hold them accountable?
Get To Know Each Other. A mentoring relationship is like any other relationship—it takes time to develop. And like other relationships, it will grow faster and stronger if both parties take the time to get to know each other as people. Resist the temptation to dive head first into career problem solving and advising. Build trust by learning about each other!
Set The Expectations and Agenda. Both parties need to be clear about the purpose and focus of the mentoring. Additionally, the mentor and mentee should articulate what they hope to get out of the experience. You need to take responsibility for the outcomes. It’s down to you to take action and be accountable to you.
Coaching and mentoring are one of the most important things a person can do to enhance their personal and professional lives. It takes time and commitment, but it is well worth the effort.
And remember, this is your journey. You will learn and grow from your coach and mentor. But your experiences leading up to this relationship are unique. So listen and learn, be guided, and always centre on yourself and think with your head. Understanding yourself is key. Your self-leadership.
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