COACH OR MENTOR – WHICH DO YOU NEED
COACH OR MENTOR – WHICH DO YOU NEED
❏ Today I’m speaking on Coach or Mentor – Which Do You Need to Help You Succeed? Most people think that a Business Mentor and a Business Coach are the same animals. They are not! Today you will learn the difference between each and this will help you choose the right one, or both, for you.
As an Executive Business Coach, I help founders find the right kind of help at the right time. Most early-stage businesses, what we call the Build Stage business, need either a Mentor, a Coach or both. In this post, I’m going to discuss the differences between a Mentor and a Coach. By the end of this article, you’ll understand the differences and know how to decide Coach or Mentor – Which Do You Need?
Differences Between a Mentor and a Coach
Mentors focus on the person, their career and support for individual growth and maturity. A Coach is job-focused and performance oriented. A Coach works with you to develop specific skills for a set of tasks, challenges and performance expectations.
What Does a Mentor Do?
A Mentor focuses on the person, their career and support for individual growth and maturity.
A good Mentor focusses on the overall “you” to help you improve your overall “self.” Mentors will spend time asking you questions about your life goals, your strengths, your weaknesses. They will look at your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter posts and who you follow. Mentors will ask you about your core beliefs and interests. In summary, they will dig into “who you are” and figure out “who you want to be.”
A Mentor will help you map out a plan for changes to the “you” to “advance.” Planning could change in how you present yourself to others. Changes in attire, hairstyles, and makeup are on the list. It could be you’re shy. Forcing yourself to attend parties, go to Meetups or even speak at events could be a needed change. Do you want to find a husband or wife with strong moral fibers and a steady career path? Hanging out at the local bars is probably not going to work for you. Are you in your late 20’s and still partying like college and posting drunk pictures on Facebook? Probably not going to get you that big promotion. A great Mentor will guide you through these life transitions that can affect you both personally and professionally.
What Does a Coach Do?
A Coach is job-focused and performance oriented. A Coach works with you to develop specific skills for a set of tasks, challenges and performance expectations.
When you’re at your first, or fifth job, and not advancing as fast as your peers, you need a Coach.
Whether you’re “just out of school,” or starting your first role as a Manager or VP, you need a Coach. You’ve heard the old saying “You don’t know what you don’t know.” If you’re in a new role, or “stuck” in the same role for too long, you need a Coach.
A Coach will sit down and help you learn the responsibilities of your role. They will outline a series of tasks you need to take first to determine the “basics” of that role. A great Coach helps create a set of metrics to measure your progress at performing your role. They will teach you how to “stand out” in a positive way. They will teach you how to rise through the ranks faster than your peers. A Coach will teach you the things you can do that “go the extra mile.” They prepare you for the next step up the responsibility ladder. They will help you learn how to become all but “termination proof” in any bad times at the company.
Many of us start our businesses. We need a Coach more than most professionals. If we’re starting a company for the first time, there are so many things we don’t know. Hiring, firing, financing, methods of incorporations, customer acquisition and so much more! A good Coach is a “must” for helping us identify those specific skills we need to be successful.
So, Business Coach or Mentor?
So, do I need a Business Coach or Mentor? Determining if you need a Mentor or Coach is not quite the right question. The reality is that you most likely need “both.”
Mentors focus on the person, their career and support for individual growth and maturity. A Coach is job-focused and performance oriented. A Coach works with you to develop specific skills for a set of tasks, challenges and performance expectations. Most seeking to improve our value at our work usually need help on improving ourselves “as a person.”
I’ve been fortunate in my life to have both my Coach and Mentor appear when I needed them most. In reality, I could have done better at improving the “me” by getting help from a Mentor “sooner.”
My Career may have moved forward faster had I reached out for a Business Coach “sooner”.
Some organizations provide excellent Coaching help such as Vistage and The Inner Circle at reasonable prices if you’re a business owner or CEO of a company. If you’re new to management or have risen to the VP level, look for a local coach with a proven management track level on LinkedIn. You can often find Mentors inside your current company. You can also seek them out at local Meetups or industry events.
I hope this article, Coach or Mentor – Which Do You Need to Help You Succeed?, has educated you on the critical differences between Mentors and Coaches. Hopefully, you’ll agree with me that for maximum personal and business success we need them both throughout our life.
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