Mentoring Yourself with a Coach

When you’re looking for career advice, one thing you’re often told is to find a mentor. This is easier said than done, however. People who seem to be making the right decisions will naturally attract mentors who can help them go from good to great. But that may not be you. The good news is you know more than you think. You just need a way to be honest with yourself in making sense of it.

What does coaching have to do with this?

When you get a mentor, they may bring a lot of knowledge to the table about how to succeed in an industry or position. But that knowledge is particular to them. They didn’t get where they are on knowledge alone. There are other variables like education, the people they’ve met by chance, the interests that have given them different ways of looking at things. A good mentor will also have a knowledge of people that lets them advise you as you, not as a junior version of themselves. Not all mentors can do that though.

A coach does not bring the industry-specific expertise of a mentor. But they are an expert in a different area: understanding what makes people tick, and helping you understand how you tick. This can include identifying emotional blind-spots, saboteur behaviors and things that you’re good at. But there’s another element: In a coaching session focused on you, there is a place to draw out the things that you know, make sense of them and decide what to do about it. Even if you’re not succeeding at work, you know who is and what their interactions with other look like. Even if you have a coworker you clash with, if you stop and think about it you can probably predict how they’ll react to certain situations or things you might say. By taking the time to learn about you, about your environment and about the feedback your environment is giving you, a coach can help you figure out things you might not have realized, or might not have wanted to admit.

If you need a mentor, but can’t find a mentor who’s right for you, who gets you or, let’s be honest, you can’t find anyone who wants to take you on as a “mentee” that you would want to be mentored by, a life coach or career coach may be the way to go. Even if you do have a mentor, a coach can be good because their only focus in your coaching session is you. They help you mentor yourself.

Part of a successful coaching relationship is finding someone you’re comfortable with. I am a certified life coach, and I would be glad to meet with you for a short consultation to see if coaching – and coaching with me – is right for you. You can set up a free consultation at the main page. Think someone else may be a better fit? Visit this LinkedIn page to request proposals from other coaches on LinkedIn.

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