What can you expect from a coaching & mentoring relationship?
Who is a mentor or a coach?
A mentor is one who has expertise, experience and wisdom in certain areas and whom you can turn to for advice. A coach facilitates accomplishment of your specific goals. A coach creates a safe environment in which people see themselves more clearly. Coach does this by listening, asking focused questions, reflecting back, challenging, and acknowledging the client. A mentor may also function as a coach.
Mentoring offers high-level guidance for long-term development, whereas coaching helps you improve immediately.
What can you expect from a mentor/coach?
A mentor may also function as a coach. The mentor-coach believes in you and in your potential, even at times when you are skeptical. A coaching/mentoring relationship is based on trust and provides a safe space where you can open up, to express your deepest desires and fears.
The mentor gives you the necessary structure, approach, tools and support to accomplish your goals. The mentor asks questions that help you to expand your awareness. The mentor gives you guidance when you seek advice or when you are stuck with an obstacle seemingly unsurmountable.
When you are pursuing a goal or mastering a skill, mentor makes you accountable and supports you throughout your journey – ensures you don’t drop your goals/activities half way thru.
Sometimes, you may need a safe-hand or a confidence boost while conquering unknown territories. An experienced mentor, having knowledge about the territory, can be valuable in such situations. The mentor can take you out from the rut you have fallen into; also can help you to make a safe leap.
When do you need a mentor?
When you are stuck in a career, you may be wondering what could be the best approach to take:
- Become more valuable in the current role by enhancing your skills
- Look for a role change; identify a new role and develop skills for the same
- Look for opportunities outside the organization or start your own business
Transition is tough for some people because in making major decisions, you may experience
- Fear of unknown, fear of rejection or fear of failure
- Difficulty in getting out of the current ‘comfort zone’
- Internal conflicts; for example, need for safety vs need for growth & excitement
A mentor listens to your ideas and issues without any judgement while encouraging going deep into it. He can help you make a decision with clarity, confidence and certainty. Sometimes, even one insight can have a profound impact in the direction you take.
Sometimes you may have brilliant ideas and want to get honest feedback from an expert. A mentor can function as a sounding board.
You may start an initiative with high energy but half-way through you may face frustration, hesitation, or confusion that may drain your energy. Sometimes you may reach a dead-end. A discussion with a mentor can provide you clarity in such situations and you will be able to move forward quickly.
A mentor teaches you to reframe negative situations into positives. A mentor helps you to see a situation from multiple perspectives and you choose the one that is most beneficial. You will get to see blessings and opportunities behind troubling situations.
Sometimes you may want to make behavior changes, but unable to (because the associated beliefs haven’t changed). A mentor-coach teaches you how to make permanent behavior changes.
Not only Olympic Champions require coaching, in fact all high performers can have coaches/mentors. Coaching/mentoring is considered to be the most effective way to acquire mastery and get results. A mentoring relationship need not end with accomplishing a major goal; it is more effective when used for long-term development; the frequency/intensity of engagement can vary depending on the need. Highly successful people have different mentors for different areas of their life.
The results you will get
In a successful mentoring & coaching relationship, you can expect to get the following results:
- A thorough understanding of your own deep desires, aspirations, and strengths; also understanding of the current situation and the available opportunities.
- A trackable career plan (career strategy, goals, potential road-blocks, skills to be developed, schedule, insights)
- Guidance from the mentor while reviewing your progress with the mentor
- You are able to address your challenges. You develop new skills continually; you create a forward momentum which is sustainable. You move with confidence, clarity and certainty.
- You have a system to accomplish your milestones/goals one after another – goals of increasing complexity and impact.
Unlike training, coaching won’t flood you with a lot of information. Your typical takeaways from a coaching session could be clarity on your goals, clarity on the approach and the next steps to take, confidence to move forward and to take risks, an enhanced list of options to choose, new insights and perspectives on a particular issue and so on.
What is your strategy to future-proof your career and thrive in these uncertain yet exciting times?
To get unstuck and to make a leap in your career, you could consider coaching/mentoring as an option; if you are a manager from the IT industry, CMentor could be your first choice.