The FIVE biggest mistakes you are making when working with a coach!May 24, 2023
Our local Homebuilder Association had just launched a Leaders of Tomorrow group, and we were getting assigned mentors in the industry. Some of the biggest names at the time. High-performing sales reps, the best new home sales agents, and even division presidents.
I could not be more excited. I would get some much-needed help with my career, and the doors would fly open. Fast-tracking to the C-Suite.
At the event of the mentor & mentee assignment big reveal, I had my first disappointment. My assigned mentor didn't attend the event. I was just told I would work with "So n So," and I had to share my time with another leader of tomorrow. We had been paired. Uggh!
I'd like you to please fast forward to our first meeting at a coffee shop. The other guy and I show up early, asking each other questions about what to expect—patiently waiting for our mentor guru to change our lives. We waited, and he finally showed up 15 minutes late.
We got our coffees and did some background introductions. We talked about our work history and what we wanted to accomplish. In the end, our mentor gave us some advice equivalent to reading the secret. Just write down some goals and manifest them. Then he left.
I don't think we ever had a second meeting. I was devastated. But here is what I got wrong about the whole thing:
1) Not taking accountability for my own experience with a mentor. Notice how, in the story was how I was never taking ownership of the situation. There were many times I could have done more to make it work for me. I didn't know it then, but extreme ownership is the gateway to high performance.
2) Expecting things to happen magically. If the mentor would say the right words and open the right doors, I'd skip the line and go right to the top. Mentors provide guidance, but you have to do the work yourself. There are no shortcuts.
3) Establishing a relationship before beginning. There must be some connection more than proximity or a paid arrangement. Both the mentor and mentee need to be invested in each other. This one is harder to solve as a mentee but be patient. The right mentors appear when you are ready.
4) Not being prepared. I was waiting for the mentor to take charge when I showed up. But I should have come equipped with five big topics I wanted to go over with them. Get advice, punch holes in the plan, and highlight what I need to see. It's not the mentor's responsibility to set the agenda. It's the mentee's responsibility.
5) Not being consistent. Once and done, once in a while,e will not serve either of you. It takes time to see progress. Get on a consistent schedule. One that isn't too often that nothing has changed and not too long that pressing questions have to wait for answers. Know that the relationship will ebb and flow. At times you may meet weekly, and other times once a quarter.
Bonus round) Mentors and Coaches are there for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It's ok if the relationship ends if it's run its course. There will be more you will learn from in the future, and the right mentors will return when you need them.
Thanks for listening. At the time, many lessons taught by all my mentors and coaches had not been apparent. When I look back, I see how the experience shaped me. How did those lessons open the doors I thought were closed? It's why we have to give back, why as a mentee, there comes a time when we must reach back and lift someone else. It's a circle of influence.
Please message me if you have questions about finding a mentor, general business advice, or what you should do today to grow your career. Let's chat, and maybe I can point you in the right direction 🚀🚀🚀