How to Work With a Business Mentor and Coach

in Mentor

My mother used to remind me that all relationships take time. Friendships, marriages, and even business relationships all require a little TLC and room to grow so that they can find their way to success. This is especially true for a business mentor relationship.

If you're smart in your selection, the right business mentor will not only gain you an advisor but also a confidant and friend. The best type of mentor relationship is one grounded in the personal connection that the entrepreneur and the mentor can forge. My favorite anonymous quote happens to be, "Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight" and I can't begin to tell you how perfect a philosophy this is for the relationship.

It doesn't just have to pertain to business, though. The mentor needs to build personal interest as well as trust. While they're not going to be your therapist or your significant other, the type of dynamic that you want to maintain with them should enjoy commitment and consistency as well as communication. This is sometimes done best through finding common interests so that the dialogue can flow freely and that a strong rapport can be built. Qualified mentors should be interested in you as a person as well as a business person. By having a dialogue that allows them to know you as an individual they'll be able to make the working relationship less intense. The right business mentor knows that the client is human and makes them feel human.

An established rapport can contribute to building a solid mentoring relationship that a business mentor will need to set to develop a consistent pattern of communication early on. This is because frequency of contact is highly important. Communication breakdowns occur when a tone or consistency that one side is used to is suddenly changed with no explanation. Ask anyone in a relationship what it's like to suddenly be unable to get in touch with your girlfriend on the usual date night or when your husband is suddenly distant and uninterested in your thoughts. Your business mentor should discuss updates on the items they recommended in previous talks and always maintain at least the minimum of interest and enthusiasm established.

Remember that the right mentor strives for three C's: Commitment, consistency, and communication and that these three C's are reciprocal. The entrepreneur will also need to maintain these points so that the relationship can be mutually rewarding.

I'll leave you with another of my favorite quotes about being a mentor from an unlikely, but worthy source.

"People ask what gives me the authority to give advice. I say, first of all, I don't give advice. Dr. Phil gives advice. Mr. T helps people. I motivate them, I inspire them, I give them hope, and I plant the seed so they can feel good about themselves."
-Mr. T

Truer words have never been spoken.

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Ellisa Brenneman has 1 articles online

About the author:
Ellisa Brenneman started her career, after receiving her Bachelor Degree from the University of British Columbia, with the Canadian government merging academic rigor and business savvy to produce and disseminate research findings. She has been published multiple times in scientific journals for her research findings.

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How to Work With a Business Mentor and Coach

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This article was published on 2010/03/30