Create Your Growth Plan—Part 5: Mentors & Coaches
The last aspect of your growth plan involves learning from people who know more than you. If you don’t have regular and carefully designed plans to bring in and learn from mentors, coaches, consultants or other smart people in your life you are missing out!
Allow me to share with you a few key ways to go about this.
Aim to learn from everyone! Gleaning from people who are ahead of you in life in specific areas you want to grow in will take your learning to a whole new level.
The more knowledgeable, experienced or wise the person helping you is, the more chances you have to move forward.
Suggested resources of people you can learn from are:
- Mentors – A mentor is usually a person more experienced than you in a specific area who listens to you and gives you advice based on their experience. When you meet such a person, you should ask them to mentor you. Don’t be shy about it. If they have time, most people will be honored to be asked to be a mentor.
- Coaches – This group is professionally trained and certified to coach. This is different from sports coaches who generally direct and train people. These “life coaches” ask you powerful questions and hold you accountable. They do not give you advice. They help you think through issues and draw the answers from within yourself. In many ways, coaching is much more powerful than mentorship. I first vehemently resisted it. It simply sounded like it would be a waste of my time. I found that to be wrong. Effective coaching can be life altering! Also coaches do not have to know anything about the area they are coaching you in.
- Consultants – This group offers you technical or professional advice usually in areas of business.
- Other smart people – Anyone in your circle of influence who can add value to you. This can be a family member, an acquaintance you meet, or simply someone you respect and look up to. Learning from them could be over lunch, whether it be a one-time encounter or more. Just remember to tell them that you would like to meet with them to learn from them and that you may have questions for them. Be clear and direct about it. They will appreciate it, and the meeting will be productive.
- These people are not your psychologist, counselor, or psychotherapist. If you have a life problem, sometimes it is best to seek a medical professional.
- These people are successful and are willing to help you. Do not waste their time. Be prepared with well thought-out questions when you meet with them.
- Make sure their value system matches yours.
- Make sure their motivation is above all to help you.
- Make sure you ask them if they need to be compensated for their time.
- It is not easy to find a mentor or coach that can help you. Be on the lookout for them. Take your time. The right person can really impact your life.
- A mentorship or coaching relationship does not have to last for a long time. The two of you should define its length.
Now, as you set your growth plan, decide and write down what mentor, coach, consultant or other smart people you want to meet with and how often.
I promise you it will change your life. It did mine!
In future blogs I will talk more specifically about each of the above categories, but for now make sure you have thought about these key people in your life.
PS – If you believe this blog may benefit someone you know, please consider sharing!
Reading: This week I am reading the book Anatomy of a Business Plan, by Linda Pinson.