Wendy Gladney (File photo)

Over the years I have coached and mentored many people.  I have also had the opportunity to be coached and mentored.  I have grown immensely from the wisdom and guidance of those who have sown into me. I believe it is a good practice to have a coach and a mentor in your life.  Together they can offer you a whole new way of looking at things in a way you may have never imagined.  

A good mentor can play a crucial role in helping you develop a shift in your thinking by challenging the way you think, offering a different perspective, sharing their personal experiences, helping you set personal and professional goals, as well as provide feedback and reflection on where you are in life. As my grandmother used to say, “Why do you have to hit your head on a glass door that someone else has already opened for you?” We can learn from the growth and experience of others.  

Oftentimes we put various roles and titles in the same bucket, but there is a difference between a mentor, a coach, a sponsor, and even an encourager.  It would be great if we could have all four in our life, as well as try to pour the same into other people that cross our path.  Usually, a mentor has more experience and expertise in a particular field or industry than the mentee.   

Mentors provide guidance, advice, and support based on their own knowledge.  They can oftentimes serve as role models to help direct their mentee’s careers and/or personal lives. Most of the time, the relationship between a mentor and mentee is informal. Also, a mentor does not have to necessarily be older than you, they just need to know a little more about the subject matter they are helping you with along your journey.  

Coaches however, play a slightly different role.  As a coach, when I work with someone, I try to help them identify what goals they desire to achieve so we can focus on those specific areas. Coaches practice trained techniques such as asking the right questions, and actively listening to their clients’ answers so we can provide the right feedback to help them gain clarity.   

Together we develop action plans. Coaches focus on facilitating the client’s growth and development through a structured process. While both mentors and coaches can provide guidance and support, remember, mentors tend to offer broader guidance based on their personal experiences, while coaches focus on helping individuals achieve specific goals through a structured process. 

Having a good mentor serves as a catalyst for your growth and development. Oftentimes we get in our own way. We can be hardheaded and get stuck in our old ways. If you want something new, then you must be willing to try new things.  As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting different results.  Is it time for you to have a mental shift?   

Then I would recommend seeking out the right mentor for you. Bob Proctor said, “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself and helps bring it out of you.”  

Stop looking in the mirror and open the door to let the right person help you become your best self. As  

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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.