Chapter 9

Leveraging Mentors and Coaches
for Your Personal Development

Mentorship is a capacity building tool that is very common in the area of leadership development. It has been used around the world in different capacities depending on the existing need. Likewise, in personal development, mentorship has a tremendous impact on developing personal capabilities and increasing our potentials.

Mentoring and Coaching Continuum

Rather than viewing mentorship and coaching as two distinct approaches, you can choose to look at them as different styles along the same continuum. Whether you will decide to utilise coaching or mentorship will depend on your specific circumstances.

Through mentorship and coaching, you can develop your skills, improve your performance, maximise your potential and actively become the person that you want to be. Mentorship will take you through a psychological process that involves an exchange of practical help and guidance from the mentor to you as the mentee. This develops your personality and aligns you with your purpose.

Key Principles of Quality Coaching and Mentoring

Through a mainly informal process, coaching and mentorship should take place daily. The problem, however, with this kind of coaching is that it isn’t scheduled and structured, which means that the purpose and the roles are somewhat ambiguous. For coaching and mentoring to have an impact, it needs to involve focused discussions, which are steered by specific and agreed upon goals. Here are the top ingredients of a good and quality mentoring process.

A Learning Agreement

The learning agreement is important in order to clarify the expectations and objectives that need to be obtained throughout the mentorship process.

Purposeful Conversations

There need to be structured, constructive, and meaningful conversations to enable you to open up to your mentor and discuss your personal beliefs and practices. This will give the mentor an opportunity to make necessary changes and amendments for your benefit.

Empowering

A good mentorship should take into account the emotional, intellectual, and relational dimensions. The coach should be dedicated to building upon your capabilities and strengths to better enhance your development.

Trust

A trusting relationship is necessary for mentorships to have an impact. Mentors need to create a safe environment where you feel free to engage with them, even in the matter of private issues.

Flexibility in Approach

Depending on your situation, mentoring should be able to adapt and address the challenges you face.

Impact of Coaching and Mentoring

The benefits that coaching and mentoring provide are mostly long-term and purpose-oriented. Mentoring will make you more confident and enhance your self-belief. It also will help to inspire and motivate you to engage in your activities with passion. In specific circumstances, mentoring will lead to more self-awareness and make you understand the contributions that you make to society. Additionally, mentorship develops problem-solving, thinking, and people skills that are crucial for helping you complete your daily tasks.

Therefore, coaching and mentoring can help you improve your work performance, change your attitude and find happiness in everything that you do.


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