Cards on the table -- I'm a massive fan of mentoring! So it's a big yes for mentoring from me.
We all need help now and again. Help in the form of unbiased support, a friendly prod to move things along, maybe just an understanding ear. I've found that those who say they don't need help often need it the most!
Whatever your role, whatever your level, I'd strongly recommend you consider working with a mentor. I have a fabulous mentor myself and as a result feel like my business is getting the support it needs, when it needs it, to realise the goals we've set.Mentoring
Who have you got to bounce ideas off that doesn't bring their own baggage into the equation? Do you seriously believe that someone, somewhere hasn't had the same challenges you're experiencing right now? If you listed your top three current challenges, I would bet that these are issues that many other business owners, business leaders, sales professionals have experienced in the past.
Whether you're running a small business, managing within a larger organisation or working for others within these types of organisations, seriously consider getting yourself a MENTOR.
Everybody's at it -- top sportsmen, business leaders, entrepreneurs.What's a Mentor?-
Someone who you feel can help you in your pursuit of your career objectives, whatever those objectives are -- more sales, a promotion, improved leadership skills, more self control, better networking techniques and so on-
Someone who can give you a neutral take on your latest challenges -- they should have no axe to grind.-
Someone with a vast bank of knowledge that you can tap into -- who's been there, done that...and - collected a few T shirts along the way.-
Someone you check in with now and again to bounce your latest ideas off.-
Someone you trust to challenge you, to prod you, to ask you searching questions.A good mentor...
...will use a variety of different approaches and move seamlessly between them -- coaching, counselling, mentoring, advising, training, guiding, whatever you need. Critically, you can learn from the mistakes they have made earlier in their career!
Getting yourself a mentor isn't a sign of weakness. On the contrary it's a sign of strength, a sign that you are willing to garner all the resources you can in your pursuit of your goals. It's not about copying them, it's about using their experience and advice and adopting it in a way that works for you.How does mentoring work?
Any way you want it to! You can go the formal route. Have regular scheduled sessions with a paid professional coach or mentor who can offer you the level and breadth of experience you need to tap into.
More informally you might find someone in your organisation that can help (bear in mind it can't be someone you report to). Ask them if they would be available as a mentor and offer to take them for lunch now and again in return for picking their brains.You'd be surprised...
...how experienced achievers like to be asked about how they have achieved success -they will be impressed by your drive and initiative! You and your mentor need to get on well. Choose someone you have good rapport with. Get away from your normal place of work. No phones, no interruptions, it all helps. Look upon it as an investment of time and money in YOU.
How long should you and your mentor spend together? Anything from an hour a month upwards -- it really does depend on your needs. You may need more time at first and top up mentoring sessions further down the line.
So -- don't plough that lone furrow. Tap into an external source of support -- and watch your increasing sales!
Until next time...LeighFor previous 'Tricks of the Trade' go here