The benefit of a mentor (whether a personal or business coach) is receiving sound guidance plus clarity of direction on the few matters critical to your success.
The truth is we all have knowledge gaps and blind spots and a caring and skilled mentor can help us uncover and overcome these. However, to receive the benefits of clarity and guidance the mentee must first be receptive to the input of others.
We all desire a good and reliable “sounding board”. We all value a high quality second opinion from someone you trust and regard. We all cherish unbiased and fresh outside perspectives.
Sometimes we just want somebody to talk to about things we have no one else to talk to about. Just to be heard, or vent, can even be cathartic and constructive in and of itself.
So how do you go about selecting a mentor? What credentials should your mentor have? Wisdom, experience plus a track record of success. A professional who is committed to YOUR success.
Above all the best rule of thumb for how to hire the best mentor is to hire a professional who has “been there, done that” whether for business, in life, at sport or otherwise.
I’m sure that the roots of mentoring trace back to ancient times of consulting an elder. But, grey hair, is not always the prerequisite. So what else may not be a requirement?
A mentor does not have to have experience in your specific industry. Yes there are plusses with industry experience but, minuses too. Someone who is from completely outside our industry can better help us shift our paradigms – someone who has “been there, done that” elsewhere.
A mentor does not have to be on the bleeding edge of trends and technology. And, a mentor does not have to be overly structured. It can be healthy for dialogue to wander off-road at times however a skilled mentor will bring about focus and clarity.
A good mentor is someone who can be supportive yet has the know how to ask the good questions. A talented mentor also knows how to ask tough questions, and knows how to contribute their insights, others are afraid to share (e.g., the emperor has no clothes). I have a few gems I keep in my hip pocket I frequently use to unearth opportunities.
I have met many business leaders who simply wonder if they’re working on the most important things which will move the needle the most in the short term and position them well the future. A mentor helps their clients gain great focus and clarity.
We all can gain a lot by being receptive to finding a great mentor. Enjoy the journey! Life is so good!
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