1. Understand your Why
To get deep value from the relationship with your business mentor, you need to understand exactly why you want them. Having a coach is of little value unless you’re ready to work hard at the process to achieve the goals you set out. Are you willing to have difficult conversations with someone you trust? Can you be open, vulnerable, authentic and hold yourself accountable?
A coach is like having your own trusted advisor, confidant, and objective sounding board. This collaborative relationship can change the way you look at your life. So, make sure you really want one.
2. Find a Coach you can work with
Talk with a few coaches before you decide on one. Listen to them. Do they ask you tough questions? Do they challenge you to think differently? Do they coach you, rather than consult with you? Are they curious?
You are not buying a friend here. You are selecting a business advisor who will help you identify your blind spots and become the best version of yourself. Many leaders have long-term coaches, so pick someone who will help you grow over many years.
Don’t forget! The selection process is a two-way street; good coaches are looking for good clients. They, too, are seeking executives they can work with.
3. Look for someone Experienced who actively coaches Executive Leaders
If you need criminal defense help, you don’t go to a bankruptcy lawyer. While great in their field, they bring a different skillset. It’s the same when selecting an executive mentor; find one who actively works with executives, preferably exclusively. Find someone who has the training, certification, and experience to help you and your individual needs.
Think of it this way: If you’re slipping under anesthetic for surgery, you do not want the last words you hear from your surgeon to be, “This is exciting; it’s my first operation”.