WEST Wisdom Blog

Diving into Coaching & Mentoring

Posted by Courtney Cyron on May 14, 2024 10:31:16 AM

One of the pieces of feedback WEST has received lately is questions about becoming a better For WEST coach or mentor. WEST believes in the value of coaching and mentoring throughout one’s career and is thrilled to be hosting the upcoming event “Empowering YOU: How to Be a Great Coach or Mentor.” 

Talking with the speakers of this event, Karin von Hodenberg and Pallavi Srivastava, Pallavi notes that “Often in the corporate world, the words coach and mentor get used interchangeably. The challenge is that they are two different things, though there is some overlap.” This is an important element to consider when choosing between coaching and mentoring. 

A coach, shares Pallavi, “is someone that is more focused on asking questions that make you think in a different way.” This person doesn’t really provide hands-on, industry specific guidance, instead they offer a perspective from outside your role and help you to think critically about the next step of your career. Pallavi adds, “I actually find it more helpful if the coach has not been in your same position. This offers a fresh perspective in their questioning.”

A mentor, on the other hand, is someone who has been in your position before. “In a workplace setting, the mentor could be in the same industry or same company, or have been in your role and has been promoted,” says Pallavi. “The mentor is someone who has already been down that road, so they can relate to a specific situation very well. A mentor focuses on guidance and expertise in a particular area,” says Karin.

While at any level of your career, it can be truly beneficial to have both a coach and a mentor in your life, this event will help you understand the difference and determine which support you are currently looking for or want to offer. 

When searching for a coach or mentor or working to become one, the first step is determining which role you’re looking for. The next step is figuring out how to leverage your network to share your coaching or mentoring support, or to deepen existing connections to begin a coaching or mentoring relationship. This can be a challenge that doesn’t get spoken about enough. 

This event will help attendees understand the key elements of the coach/mentor relationship: trust and listening. If you’re looking for a coach or mentor, you can simply approach someone you respect and offer to buy them a cup of coffee in exchange for being able to ask them about their career. This experience can provide great insight and guidance. However, if that person is someone you do not have an existing relationship with, or is not currently able to offer continued support, that still leaves you looking for a coach or mentor. “The key part is the trust in the relationship. You have to have developed a relationship with the person. The challenge is really recognizing what you really want out of the relationship and then identifying some of those people who would be able to offer that to you and then getting that alignment on expectations for the coach/coachee relationship,” says Karin. 

The tools Karin and Pallavi will provide in this event will help you hone in on the trust and listening skills necessary to provide a truly supportive relationship, as well as be supported by your own coaches and mentors. 

The best thing you can do to take the skills you learn at this event and hone them to be supportive and to be supported is to be in touch with your local networking resources. “Getting involved with organizations, networking organizations, like WEST, can offer great opportunities to coach or mentor or be coached or mentored. Especially with how amazing the WEST mentoring program is,” shares Pallavi. “People are always happy and willing to help. Don’t feel bad asking people for that help.”

If it’s your first time considering being a coach or a mentor or you’re ready to take on more, the WEST mentoring program is a great place to start stepping into that role. Starting with this event, “Empowering YOU: How to Be a Great Coach or Mentor,” you’ll learn the skills and receive the tools to get you started, or take you a step further. If this really inspires you to take your coaching or mentoring role deeper, the WEST mentoring program will be opening this fall for both mentors and mentees. The tools from the Empowering YOU event will lend themselves perfectly to supporting your experience in the WEST mentoring program.

Whether you are beginning to learn about how a coach or mentor could help you in your career, or if you’ve begun to feel a pull to want to support others just beginning their career, Karin and Pallavi’s insight at the Empowering YOU: How to Be a Great Coach or Mentor event is for you! Join us for this career-changing event and learn how the right support could take you to the next level! Register here to join us on June 4 at 6:00 PM ET in Boston.

Topics: Events, Leadership, Career, Mentoring, Coaching, Influence, Developing Your Skills, Challenges, Career Development, Mentor, #WESTevent

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