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The Bookworm – Part X by Ben J. Pritchett

by | Ben Pritchett, In the Magazine

In one of my earliest articles, I discussed the blurry nature of the difference between a Coach and a Consultant. Today I’m going to look at another one of the fuzzy words … and that word is Mentor.

My email signature line gives me the lofty titles of “Consultant / Coach / Mentor / International Bestselling Author.” The author is the obvious odd title out there, but how do those other three differ? Here are the quick dictionary definitions:

Consultant: a person who gives professional or expert advice.

Coach: a person who trains or instructs an individual or a team.

Mentor: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

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I can honestly say that I’ve never looked up the definition of mentor before, but now that I have, I think we have the trifecta of titles that we should shoot for in our career as a Six Figure Coach. I think that taking on the mantle of a mentor will add that much extra weight to services as a coach.

Here are some reading recommendations to help you add mentor to your growing list of titles:

Power Mentoring: How Successful Mentors and Protégés Get the Most Out of Their Relationships 

by Ellen A. Ensher and Susan E. Murphy

I will admit that it takes a little bit to warm up to this book because, like many business books, the topic is a tad dry. However, once you get past the first couple of chapters and get into the meatier parts of the book, you will get some great pieces of advice.

Here’s the thing, we’ve all had mentors, whether they’re officially mentors or not. For example, I consider the authors of the many books I’ve read to be mentors. I’ve talked about Dan Kennedy several times – I’ve read his books and listened to 100s of hours of his presentations – he knows I exist, and we’ve never had a personal relationship, but I consider him a major mentor of mine.

But I digress.

This book accomplishes a couple of important things: it looks at the mind of the mentor and that of the protégés (I usually use the term mentee). It’s two very different roles. A learning mindset is very different than a teaching mindset (although we’ve all had experiences where we learn from those we are supposed to be teaching as well). This book teaches both.

Applying the principles in this book will enrich all your coaching relationships no matter which side of the relationship you’re on.

Coaching and Mentoring For Dummies  

by Marty Brounstein

I’ve always found the idea of a series of books that called its readers Dummies somewhat interesting (it also spawned a series for Idiots as well). However, if you can get past the tongue-in-cheek insult of the title I have yet to read a Dummies book where I didn’t get great value.

With that said, this book may benefit some of you more than others. It’s not directed so much for a coaching/client relationship like we have, it’s more aimed at the managers who have been directly or indirectly tasked with being mentors as well. If you think about it though, shouldn’t every manager be a mentor too?

Here’s what I like about Dummies books: they’re full of quick, simple points with icons that can allow you to find the key points quickly and easily, even if you’re just skimming through the book. I bought this book ten years ago, but in writing this article tonight, I was skimming through the pages and came across a couple of useful points.

If you want a quicker, easier read, start here.

I would be remiss if I did not note that in checking to make sure that this book was still available for purchase, I discovered a newer book:

Business Coaching and Mentoring For Dummies Paperback 

by Marie Taylor and Steve Crabb

I have added this book to my wishlist, but have not read it, so I can’t offer a personal opinion on it, but it is well-reviewed on Amazon.

The Mentor’s Mentor: Preparing Yourself to Make a Lasting Difference in Someone’s Life

by Corey Olynik

This is not a long book, but it’s a deep dive into the topic of mentoring from somebody who has lived it. One of the things that I really liked about this book is the fact that the author goes into great detail about the many roles that a mentor may fill, as follows:

Confidante – creating a trusting environment for meaningful conversation.

Role Model – sharing stories from one person’s life to help another grow.

Guide – pointing out landmarks, small victories ahead and how to work toward them.

Tutor – helping someone learn and, more importantly, want to learn the things they are missing.

Coach – heartily patting someone on the back and gracefully poking them with a stick.

Sage – understanding someone’s higher purpose, connecting to it and showing how progress is being regularly made toward it.

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Although one of the roles covered is that of a coach, the reality is that as somebody’s coach and mentor you have to fill many roles, and the author notes that you will probably have to fill all six of these at different points throughout the relationship.

To conclude this article, let’s quickly pop back to the dictionary definition of a mentor, that of “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” If your clients hold you in that kind of esteem, do you think they’re going to value your advice more or less? Will they comply more easily? Will they maintain the relationship with you longer? Absolutely.

Let’s all make an effort to be mentors as well as coaches and consultants, and it will smooth the path to becoming a Six Figure Coach!

 About  Ben Pritchett

Ben Pritchett started his first business at the age of 15, and began his own consulting practice in 1991. For over 25 years he has worked with clients in many industries including restaurants, direct sales, software development, tourism, dimension stone (granite quarrying and manufacturing), aviation, and optometry, just to name a few. Companies coached by Ben have nearly doubled and tripled their revenues in a single year.

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