Mentors and Coaches:
How to Find a Great Mentor
A career coach or mentor is a person who can guide you with
the benefit of their experience. He or she may be someone
more senior from within your organisation or someone external
to your organisation who has been successful in the field
or skills you want to develop. The right mentor can help you
accelerate career, boost your self-development and improve
your working relationships. And remember that a mentor is
not only helpful in your career the benefits of having a mentor
are relevant to all areas of your life -- whether fitness,
financial or lifestyle.
Decide what area you want help with. Examine your life
and determine whether you want help with your career, your
health or your relationships. When you know the area or areas
you want to focus on you can begin searching for a suitable
Who are the top performers? Whichever area of your
life you decide to seek a mentor for, find out who the experts
are, who does it better than anyone else?
Where's the hang out? Next, find out where your role
models hang out -- check out networking events and groups,
industry events and conferences -- make note of anyone who
stands out and has the "presence" you are looking for.
Look into programs. Many organisations now have internal
mentoring programs that you can become a part of. If you work
for yourself you can investigate Government programs that
offer mentoring programs.
Select your mentor. When you identify the person you
believe would be a suitable mentor, spend some time watching
them in action. Ask around to find out what other people's
opinions of your chosen mentor are and find out all you can
about their achievements, beliefs, values and way of operating.
This will give you insight into them before you approach them
about mentoring you.
Approach your mentor. Phone your prospective mentor
and ask to make an appointment to see them. Tell him or her
why you want to meet and schedule a time. It is important
that your interactions are professional and show respect for
your prospective mentor's time. This demonstrates that you
are committed to doing the right thing.
Have an agenda. When you do meet, have an outline of
what you would like to discuss. Your agenda should include
why you want them to mentor you, for how long and what you
hope to gain during that time. If they do agree to mentor
you, you can then work out how you can support them too --
this should be a two-way process.
Make an agreement. If you both decide to proceed, set
up an agreement with guidelines about how your relationship
will work and what you both expect from each other.
Neen James is a Global Productivity Expert: by looking
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