THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Become a Mentor

Trainers teach people how to do things. Consultants show people how to apply the training in their situation. Coaches hold people accountable. Mentors bring the wisdom of experience. Which of these are you? Whether you are a receptionist, a nurse, a manager, a hygienist/therapist, an associate, a travelling specialist, a Principal…… You will at some stage perform all of these duties. I think it is a good idea to recognise which of these “hats” you are wearing every time you connect with another person. Because the “hat” determines the performance and behaviour you have to adopt. You can become a trainer, a consultant or a coach by taking a course. You can only become a mentor by investing years in developing the wounds and the wisdom of experience. Trainers, consultants and coaches are, frankly, a dime a dozen – some are great and others less so. Some have original material but most are re-selling and re-packaging other people’s ideas (in fact – we all start there). Over time, a good trainer, consultant or coach develops their own intellectual property, fed by their own personal experiences with clients. But here’s a thing – you cannot be a poor mentor – because to be a mentor at all – you had to be consistently good at all the other skills. You had to have survived. 99% of trainers, consultants and coaches never become mentors – because they give up too soon – or chop and change, looking for the next “easy ride” or “silver spoon”. Mentors stick with it – through thick and thin – and are most easily recognisable by the quantum of their failures, their successes and their stubborn refusal to ever give up on a good thing. And the good thing was themselves.

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