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Robert Durrant mentoring

How to choose a Mentor or Coach Tips and Checklist.

Updated: Jan 7

How to choose the RIGHT Business Mentor or Coach using our tips and checklist.

Why mentoring and coaching has been SO successful and will help you to stay focused and on track with your goals!

A borderless global economy and the advances in eCommerce give companies the ability to trade locally and also globally with far greater ease than ever before!

The Internet and the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn empower consumers to interact with brands in far different ways.

In today’s fast-moving environment, it’s hard enough for a small business to just keep up. In this demand-driven world, as much as we don’t like to admit it, businesses MUST lift their game if they want to compete AND survive.

Training simply isn’t enough.

Mentoring and Coaching services have been extremely successful and are considered to be the “new normal”.

Mentors provide much more value because they understand the goals of the individual and help to build a total solution (as opposed to just some training). They provide advice, guidance, expertise and wisdom to help you make better and more informed choices.

Mentors will also identify any skills or knowledge gaps and can introduce expert coaches to provide specialist training.

Mentors also become a great sounding board. They are someone who you can bounce ideas and concepts off and can provide you with impartial advice, tips and suggestions.

What type of mentoring will you need?

Firstly, it’s important that you are aware of the differences between a mentor and a coach.

Coaching is more focused on skills development and training e.g. where an individual may need extra help e.g. Public speaking.

Mentoring provides the guidance (usually from experienced people) that in turn builds confidence, nurtures ideas, allows for advice and criticism, to help you reach a desired goal.

There are different types of mentoring available, so it’s good to think about what type of help you need and what suits you e.g.

  • Executive Leadership

  • Business or Entrepreneur Mentoring

  • Professional Development

Think about your goals and also the challenges you’ve been facing. Work out the time period you need a mentor (6-12 Months etc) and the time dedication you will allocate to them.

How to choose a Mentor?

Here are our best tips for you to use when choosing your mentor.

  • Mentors work best if choose someone you admire or respect. It’s even better when you can see a good track record and credibility – especially in the field of work you are in or planning to be in.

  • Choose a mentor that you can relate to, and has a lot to offer you.

  • A person who enjoys challenges and knows how to challenge you and help you focus your thinking.

  • Choose someone who shows empathy and listens to your needs (and doesn’t judge). Never work with people who are patronising or look down at you in any way.

  • Someone who has a passion to work with people to help them improve themselves and achieve goals.

  • A person who makes commitments and follows through – e.g. a mentor who continuously cancels meetings might be a wrong choice and a waste of time.

  • Find a person with a genuine interest in your career and advancement; someone who will be interested in you and helping you.

  • Someone with whom you can be yourself and feel comfortable around sharing confidential information.

  • A person who has a good network of influencers e.g. is able to pick up the phone and connect you with a possible learning opportunity or will make connections for people you should meet, events to attend.

  • Has a good understanding of you and your organisation, or at least your industry and your future potential.

  • Someone who provides help and guidance BUT not a controller who wants to take over and be your boss.  Probably not too much of a controller, certainly not making decisions for you, so avoid someone who continually offers their own solutions.

  • Someone who listens and engages with you, asks useful and interesting questions and will help to develop your ideas.

  • Has high standards and values – values mistakes for learning, has great interpersonal skills, good listener, open and honest and actually gives you feedback on your communication style. This person should value learning and can stretch higher achievers – and can help you experiment in a safe environment.

  • Someone you trust is absolutely critical

  • Avoid people you feel sexually attracted to (even a bromance), it ALWAYS ends in a mess.

Learn more from our article – why people engage a business mentor or coach

Looking for a Business Mentor?

Speak to Robert Durrant about his mentoring programs that will help you to;

  1. Plan your goals

  2. Overcome your challenges

  3. Stay focused and on track.

Learn how to maximise your potential by engaging a mentor for expert support, ensuring success in your business and professional journey.

Related links:

Robert Durrant

High-Performance Mentor & Coach


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