Looking for a Mentor… or Ready to Be One?

Many of you in the coaching world have heard successful coaches talk about their mentor or mentors. The story these coaches tell is of how their mentors have helped them grow or evolve. They strongly suggest they would not be where they are today if it had not been for the input and support of their mentors. It’s hard to listen to a successful businessman without hearing a similar story.

What do mentors do? A mentor’s goal is “to establish, strengthen and align empowering values and beliefs, often through their own examples.”* Most of these successful coaches and business people chose mentors who modeled or represented what they wanted or desired.

It’s fairly common to hear such high-end coaches offer to be mentors themselves. Now what’s interesting is that not everyone who could be a mentor actually turns out to be good at mentoring. Why? Because to be good at mentoring, mentors need to have beliefs in place that support mentoring.

My thinking about mentors and mentoring has been influenced by Robert Dilts. Actually, I think of Robert as one of my mentors. Robert suggests that successful mentors operate from the following beliefs:

  • When people want something and believe in it enough, they will find a way to make it happen.
  • The most important thing I can do is to help people believe in themselves and value what they are doing.
  • At their core, all people are positively intended. Having appropriate values and beliefs is the foundation for being able to express our positive intentions in the most effective and ecological manner.
  • With advice and attention from me, this person will be able to naturally establish empowering beliefs and appropriate values.
  • One of the best ways to advise others is by being an effective role model.

It is hard to separate leadership from mentoring. The leadership style associated with mentoring is that of inspirational leadership. Inspiring others involves motivating and encouraging them to do and be their best. Both mentoring and inspirational leadership emphasize values and empowering beliefs in future possibilities.

You can see that selecting a mentor or serving as a mentor requires you to understand your own beliefs and values. I think you can also see how important it is for potential mentors to be congruent with their own values and beliefs.

I hope this information will encourage you to be careful about selecting your mentors as well as developing your own mentoring abilities, for I believe that mentoring is one of the most important roles you can take on as a successful coach.

* From Coach to Awakener, Robert Dilts, Meta Publications, 2003 (pp. 133-134).

I would love to hear what you think about this. Please share your feedback and comments below.

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About Terry: Terry Hickey, M.S., is a Certified NLP Professional Coach, Business Trainer and Consultant, a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the co-owner of NLP Advantage Group. Originator of the Belief Breakthrough Method™, Terry specializes in teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to rapidly resolve limiting beliefs about wealth and success. His tips and strategies can help you launch yourself into the future you want… NOW.

Categories : Coaching Tips

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