Carefully Chosen Mentors and Coaches Will Accelerate Your Performance

History has shown that most of the incredible comebacks and super achievements were accomplished by individuals, who were influenced by great mentors or coaches. These super achievers came from many different and diverse fields, such as business, art, science, politics and sports. Their great achievement was related to a common thread of either a mentor or coach, who supported and inspired them to remain motivated, to take daily action, stay on track and become great.When identifying the right coach or mentor, you could either employ a professional to assist you or you could look around you environment and discover an ideal mentor or coach. My experience has shown me that the most suitable mentors or coaches come from within your organisation or industry.Action Idea: When identifying the right coach or mentor, first know exactly what you want to achieve and ensure that you have a very clear, articulated and written down vision. Next create a crystal clear picture in your mind of exactly what you want from a mentor or coach. Write this down and then decide how much time you would need from your mentor or coach each week or month. Build a very concise written introduction that you can use when you approach either a mentor or coach with your proposal.Search around in your environment and see if there is anyone close to you who can mentor or coach you. If there is no one suitable, expand your search into your industry and beyond by using Google, LinkedIn and even Facebook, to research your prospective mentors or coaches. Once you identified the most suitable person, approach them with a very clear concept, describing your exact expectations and the amount of time you would need from them each week, month etc. In most cases, when you are really concise and you show that you know exactly what you are looking for, people are willing to assist.Identifying and utilising all the opportunities available to you, to get support from the right people around you, is one of the key ingredients to becoming and sustaining top performance. A long range study conducted over 40 years, by two researchers, Ruth Smith and Emily Werner, in Hawaii, attempted to answer the question “Why some people are motivated to overcome severe disadvantages, while others from similar backgrounds are overwhelmed by the same challenges”Their research showed that the people that persevered and pushed through until they overcame adversity possessed an interesting quality. They all had the ability to recognise potential sources of support in other people around them. They could look beyond the walls of their lives, where they discovered relatives, friends, teachers, coaches or mentors who could support and assist them. This very important result illustrates the incredible value found in identifying and forming mutually beneficial relationships with coaches or mentors.The secret to make a mentoring or coaching experience sustainable in the medium to long term is to ensure that the relationship always remains mutually beneficial. In the case of a professional coach or mentor, you would be paying for their services and so reaching a point of fair exchange is relatively easy. The challenge is to find a way to ensure that anyone from your organisation or industry, who is ideal to be your mentor or coach, always feels like there is a fair exchange, for the time they invest into you.Action Idea: Research your mentors and discover areas where they may require assistance with research or they have an interest. Do the research for them or send them information that would be of value to them relating to their area of interest. I have found this to be one of the best ways possible to sustain any really important mentoring or coaching relationships.A great coach or mentor is not only a source of valuable information and encouragement, but also offers you an additional correctional device or accountability partnership to help keep you on track. A good, well-chosen mentor or coach will assist you and help you remain inspired and driven to succeed, especially during the difficult or challenging times.Identifying and working with the right coaches and mentors is one of the most important choices you will ever make. Invest sufficient time to ensure that you are absolutely clear on your needs and expectations from them and then choose the people you want to work with very wisely. Your coach or mentor is there to support, encourage and guide you. So make sure that they are committed and have a vested interest in helping you.

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