As you may be aware I have been providing formal mentoring services since 2009. And through that time, I’ve had many people, including allied health professionals, ask me to explain what a mentor is, and how to effectively work with a mentor. As allied health professionals, we are more familiar with supervision, especially clinical supervision, and so working with someone with a title of ‘mentor’ is not something we are normally accustomed to so it’s a very fair, valid and great question to ask, and one I am going to answer in-depth within a series of three articles.
When I started researching what mentoring is (and isn’t) I was in-fact quite surprised by what I discovered. I now understand that I have been mentoring since I was a teenager. And you probably have been doing the same thing without realizing it.
The original Mentor is a character in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor. Mentor served as the teacher and overseer of Odysseuss’ son, Telemachus. And my dictionary describes a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide”.
But this doesn’t explain to us exactly what a mentor is in a way that we can really understand and put to use. Therefore, in order to answer the question, there are a few more questions that need answered along the way. Such as ‘what is the difference between a coach and a mentor?’ And, ‘what is the difference between a coach, a mentor and a clinical supervisor’.
More questions follow………….’when would you use a coach, instead of a mentor?’, or ‘would you use a clinical supervisor and a coach at the same time?’
I have asked all of these questions myself, and have spent time and a lot of money discovering the answers that have helped me to grow an incredibly dynamic, successful, and sustainable consulting practice.
Which leads ultimately to the question…’how do you choose and start working effectively with a mentor or coach?’
There is so much information available on this subject that it can become quite overwhelming. So my goal is to provide useful insight, to provide you with some real life examples and for you to finish reading this series of articles with a clear understanding of what each of these professionals do, and how they can add incredible value to your work life and business.
I have found the value of a mentor, to me personally and to my business, to be priceless. I want to provide a similar experience for those involved in the mentoring programs I offer. I mentor predominantly allied health professionals to build successful, sustainable and profitable consulting practices, so to understand where mentoring, coaching and clinical supervision fit into a new solo business owner’s life is really important.
In fact, any successful business endeavour for an allied health professional is actually going to involve all three people in your world (coach, mentor and clinical supervisor). At some time they may co exist, at other times you may need one, or two to assist you develop new skills, understand a personal development difficulty or assist you to breakthrough a challenge that is stopping you from living the life you want.[contentbox width=”500″ borderwidth=”1″ borderstyle=”none” bordercolor=”000000″ dropshadow=”0″ backgroundcolor=”F5F5F5″ radius=”0″]It would be great to know before we get started what your thoughts are on what a mentor means to you and the effect you think one would have in your business. Do you think it a mentor is necessary or is your opinion more of ‘I make mistakes and learn from them’? What results have you achieved from having a mentor or being a mentor?[/contentbox]
I LOVE feedback and interaction. So I welcome your insights, feedback and discussions on this topic. There are plenty of places you can connect with me or drop a note in the comments box below
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Have a great week