I am a huge believer in personal mentors or coaches.
In the professional world the more senior you become the less training you tend to receive, the less time you make for self-learning and although you feel like you do coach and offer to coach, the less you deliver.
In the near future, I truly believe many individuals should self start and actively look to find a coach or mentor.
Over recent years I have found myself being introduced to senior Marketing, Growth and Product people and asked if I could help one of their colleagues or have a coffee with them.
In many cases, these introductions and virtual coffees have become informal mentees or have become formal coaching clients. In many cases these are CMO’s or VP’s.
I personally love mentoring, like many skills, it is a skill you have to work on, the more mentoring the more you will learn, the better you become, not just for you but for the mentees and future mentees.
In over two decades of professional work, I have mentored a number of people in and outside of the company I worked for and I believe mentoring is one of the most rewarding activities you can do.
Something to keep in mind with mentoring is, mentoring often is unspoken or informal, so mentoring often happens without your realising.
A coffee with someone regularly might seem like therapy but is likely mentoring or coaching.
A good percentage of the mentees I was lucky to work with were some of the smartest people I have met or had the pleasure to work with.
A good mentor relationship is two ways, a mentor who says they do not learn from their mentee either isn’t a mentor or is part of the unique 1%.
A great mentor will improve your confidence, learn with you and help you with some tricky decisions and where possible introduce you to good people.
I have also coached a number of professionals who had hit their ceiling or felt like they needed someone external to help their growth and help provide a different context to their work
In the near future mentoring and coaching is going to be priceless especially within organisations. Companies will have limited budgets, they will have to make hard decisions around how much they can invest into formal training and many should turn to the right internal coaches and mentors, or, go external and take on paid coaches or mentors.
Coaching Vs Mentoring
Coaching and mentoring are two different disciplines.
Mentoring is lighter, longer-term without a formal written down set of goals but should feel the benefit over these regular sessions after a few months. Mentors often provide you with a few avenues to take and helps to guide you softly. Rarely should a mentor make your decisions for you.
Coaching is harder, shorter-term with an agreed set of goals and you should feel improvements within four to six weeks. Coaches should be improving a set of skills or helping to shape you and improve you tactically and strategically.
Coaches are important to everyone’s careers, whether you are a CEO of a large successful company (even Apple, Disney and Google c-suite have coaches) to someone starting out on their professional journey.
Even the highest performing athletes, like boxing champions, Olympics double gold winners to footballing icons like Ronaldo or Messi have coaches working with them and improving them constantly.
Coach or Mentor?
Are you still wondering if you should be looking for a coach or mentor?
If you are looking to improve specific skills or a set of skills a relevant coach is the right choice. If you are looking to discuss tactics, campaigns or projects and looking for actionable feedback a coach is the right choice.
If you are looking to round out your professional career, discuss general issues and look for guidance or options of how to tackle potential issues a mentor is the better choice.
Coaching and Mentoring Combined?
Mixing the two can work, however, it is important to state and call out if it is a mentor or coaching session with actions to come off the back of it.
Internal or External
If you wanted to know if you should look for an internal or external mentor, question if the internal mentor has the time, the energy and can remove themselves from the job to mentor you and be objective about your situation.
If external, always have a chemistry session and ask if they have the time and commitment to one to two sessions per month. Paid mentors will, of course, have the time but might not be the right fit.
Coaching And Mentoring From Me
I have made the conscious decision to take on more paid mentor clients and more paid coaching clients, the areas I will be offering include Marketing, Growth, Strategy and Culture.
My approach to paid coaching is building a structure, we review your plan (or build one if you do not have one), review your process and address and solve problems, typically one problem at a time. Expect homework and challenges throughout the coaching sessions.
Read more about my Marketing Coaching service
My approach to paid mentoring is to have open mentoring sessions where we talk through how you are feeling, what you have on, what is going on with you and what areas you are looking to discuss and potentially nurture and we work through. Mentoring is far more informal and deliberately more relaxed, there will be times where I set homework and push you.
This has worked for me and my mentees previously and an important call-out.
If you would like to discuss this happily hit the button below or email me. You can reach out over LinkedIn by clicking this link.
I also offer dedicated Growth Advisory
services which will help to take your business to the next level. Happily reach out with any questions.