How Can A Mentor Help You?
In this week’s blog, we are going to look at Mentors.
I will say some of the information, is obtained through Google, and like most things can be interpreted differently, depending on who is reading the information.
We are going to look at what mentoring is, we are going to look at the difference between Mentoring and coaching.
We are going to look at some of the Qualities which make a good mentor.
This next paragraph gives a brief explanation of what a Mentor is,
Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) supports and encourages people to develop specific skills and knowledge that will maximize their business potential and improve their performance. In short, it is the transfer of knowledge, skills, and experience.
In short, it is someone who has more experience than another person in a relevant area and is prepared to share the knowledge to help someone.
Remember mentors can come in a range of areas, from business, career, or life, so understanding the purpose of why we are searching for a mentor, can help us find the right person for the job.
The mentor might have more experience within the Bookkeeping side of a business, A marketing side of a business, employing within a Business, or any other area.
Personally, I recommend Business owners to find someone from a Operations background, who have a range of knowledge in a range of different areas within a business, who can assist the mentee improve a range of areas within their business. This way everything is working in the same direction.
Often people ask what is the difference between a coach and a mentor, or which one should I use a Mentor or a Coach.
Not sure, I 100% agree with the following, although when I speak with clients, or other Mentor or Coaches, I can see how many people would think they are similar in a Business environment, wherein a sporting environment, a coach will often give you new skills, so you can improve yourself, and the way you play the sport.
I am sure many Coaches and Mentors, may or may not agree fully with this next paragraph, especially in the time frame aspect.
Coaching and mentoring – the difference. Coaching and mentoring use the same skills and approach but coaching is short term task-based and mentoring is a longer term relationship.
After reading the above paragraph, guess working out which one you will need to search for, is working out how long you would like to work with this person for.
However, if I was to read the above, and only wanted someone to help me improve my bookkeeping processes, or cash flow processes, then I would assume it would be a short term arrangement and therefore I would be looking for a business coach, who specialises in the form of Bookkeeping, however there are many Mentors who can also help you achieve this.
The important thing, is when it comes times to decide on a coach or Mentor, is to meet with a couple of coaches and a couple of Mentors, and ensure they have the skills to help you either solve your problem, or in preference they help you to improve your business, so it does not become a problem- be proactive and not reactive.
As long as the person has the skills to help you achieve your goal, then their title, of Coach, Mentor or even Advisor, is not important, the important part is they have the skill set you want and can work in the budget in which you set yourself for the project.
For people out there looking for a Mentor,
On top of having the skills required for the particular task as mentioned above, the Mentor should have the following attributes,
- Ability and willingness to communicate what you know. …
- Approachability, availability, and the ability to listen. …
- Honesty with diplomacy. …
- Objectivity and fairness. …
- Compassion and genuineness.
After reading the above dot points, the person you are searching for, should be prepared to assist you where possible, they should be honest, and be available at a time which suits both parties, remember if the person you are considering cannot be flexible and meet you at suitable times to you, then they are not the person you are looking for- although both parties need to be flexible to a degree.
Do they care about other Businesses and the business owner, e.g. do they want you to achieve the outcomes you want to achieve to improve your business.
Are they prepared to listen to you and learn about your business, and then share the knowledge they have, I believe they should be prepared to go and above what you are paying for.
Setting Your Budget.
The only way you can set your budget, is to obtain quotes, so the concept of finding a Mentor, or any consultant, is a time-consuming process, as you need to obtain quotes, however, to obtain quotes you need to meet with the relevant person and learn how they can assist you to achieve your goals.
Like any consultant’s they all have their own Methods for charging for their services, including an Hourly rate- which is often charged after the meeting, and can vary. A rate for a particular project, which is often charged after the work completed, although depending on costs they may include a payment plan.
They may charge per the month, which is often invoiced at the beginning of the month and required to be paid in advance, or they may charge per a time frame- e.g. $8000 for a 12 week program, which is often invoiced in Advance, but allows for a Payment plan over the time of the program.
Finding the right Mentor takes time, you need to speak with a few to find someone who can assist.
Whether it is a mentor or coach, the title is not important as long they have the skills to help you complete the project/ achieve the Goal you set, is the important aspect, and they must be able to complete this within your budget, and not their budget.
Depending on the outcomes required, don’t expect an instant result, e.g. don’t expect an increase in revenue within a week, it takes time for everything to occur, Often a mentor is a long-lasting relationship with the business, although depending on the skills of the mentor, you might go through a few mentors during your life as an owner of a business. You are better to work with a mentor, who will help you to set your Business up to improve the chances of your business being successful, rather than just reacting to everything which goes wrong, even with the best setups and structures from time to time things can go wrong, but knowing how to deal with each problem can only help you.