Coaching and mentoring has become popular for many reasons. If you are looking for coaching and mentoring do you have the right reasons for doing so? Are there even such a thing as “right reasons?” I think that by now you are fully aware what coaching and mentoring is, and may even be tired of the sameness of the offerings. However, you should consider what your reasons are for looking at coaching and mentoring – what are your “right reasons”?
What exactly does each involve? Mentoring is where someone with more experience and knowledge than you guides you. This makes anyone capable of mentoring, since all of us have some experience and knowledge that is more than someone else’s. Throw out the idea that a mentor has to be older, more senior. Coaching is a process for helping someone through a process to achieve a result. You can get hung up on semantic or definitions or get on with the process of focusing on and achieving results. That is why I asked you what the right reasons are for you. The right reasons for you will be related to what you want to achieve, your aspirations and ambitions. As long as you are not harming someone else or doing something illegal, your reasons need not be explained or defended, you have a right to them. You can safely ignore the restricting definitions often used for coaching and mentoring and ask yourself whether the relationship is delivering value to you. Value is when you get what you want, not dancing to someone else’s tune. What is important to you? What do you want to achieve in your life?
Are coaching and mentoring of any value? Yes (I am hardly going to say something else). However, consider this. Information are more readily available to anyone than ever before in history. It is not more or better information that we need. It is the ability to make decisions and act on them that takes you forward. This is where a coach and mentor can be invaluable since you have a real live person reflecting your ideas and plans back to you, but not in a blindly accepting way, but in a manner that makes you question and challenge yourself. This leads to better decision making. At the same time you will be held to account. You don’t have to open a diary to be reminded. A real live person will hunt you down. Well, probably give you a friendly phone call.
So if you are considering coaching and mentoring, look for someone who will actually listen to you, challenge you, encourage you to step out and take a risk, and will help you achieve your plans and goals. Steer away from anyone who want to control you, make you into some sort of mini-me of themselves, or is set on making you follow their ideas only. Avoid people who have a fixed idea and won’t respond to your needs.
We live in a world awash with information. It is therefore the ability to focus on what matters to you, make decisions and take action that are most important. It’s not about knowing what is right to do, but actually doing it that will result in success. That is where coaching and mentoring can help enormously.