A mentor’s someone who has more extended knowledge in your field. Usually meetings are informal, you can, but you don’t have to define specific goals for mentoring.
You’ll start a new job for example and your company will assign you a mentor. The mentor helps you understand your company’s politics, share their knowledge and make your learning curve a little smoother. We have a lot of mentors in our private life; parents, siblings, friends and colleagues.
A coach is someone with whom you arrange an official cooperation. You agree the goals that you’ll work on. These goals are specific so that they’re easily tracked. You should choose a coach who specialises in the areas where you’re struggling. In my own life, I’ve received coaching in health and career progression.
Why should you get a coach?
Are you struggling in certain aspects of your life? Are you stuck in a vicious circle? Finding out what’s blocking you isn’t a particularly tough task, it’s easy to find why you’re not succeeding. What’s harder is changing your behavioural patterns. Changing your behaviours are your main barriers to success. A coach is able to get you through these barriers and make that change.
We assume we know our priorities. But let’s take a simple example – health vs wealth. Everybody answers that health is more important than wealth. But in practice most people prioritise wealth. Do you spend most of your time at work? How much time do you spend with your family? How much time do you spend doing sport or enjoying peace and quiet? You need to compare your perceived priorities against your actual behaviour. Are you really working towards what you want?
A good coach will ask you thought-provoking questions which can be slightly uncomfortable. The answers to these questions are what move you forward in life. A coach doesn’t tell you what to do. The beauty of coaching is that it’ll help you recognise what you want and what you need to do. These things can fall outside your comfort zone. A coach challenges you regularly, their intention is clear, they’re looking for your hidden potential. A good coach is on your side.
We all know the saying ‘don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today’. Many of us apply this to our professional life, but we forget to apply it to our personal life. When people talk about enjoying their life, they talk about future things. ‘I’ll be happy when I’m promoted’, ‘I’ll be happy when he proposes to me’, ‘everything will be better when we move away’. What are you waiting for? Why not be happy right now? Why put off happiness for the future? The working week doesn’t mean you have to work from early morning to late night.
In coaching, you don’t just pay for coach’s time, you pay for their personal experience, their self-empowerment, objectivity and their drive to have a happy client. This is an investment, not an expense. It’s an investment in yourself. Think of your happiness as a long-term project.
How do you feel when you don’t succeed?
What if you can both deliver in quality but still have time for your family, friends or children? Would you feel better? A coach can help you make more money and be promoted, it can help you be more fulfilled in your work and personal life. Your happiness is never too expensive!