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The terms mentoring and coaching are often used interchangeably, which mislead many clients. Although the mission is similar, and that is – supporting someone’s development; coaching and mentoring are very different disciplines in practice. It also involves building a long-term relationship that is focused on supporting the growth and development of the client. The mentor becomes a ‘source’ of wisdom, teaching, and essentially a support system. Mentoring offers guidelines for long-term development, while coaching is a tool that can help the client achieve results as quickly as possible. 

Many people attribute their professional growth to the help of a patient mentor, a mentor who challenged them to think differently and to look at incoming obstacles from different perspectives. Countless organizations recognize the power of effective mentoring and have established programs that help young professionals recognize and gain the support of a more experienced professional in this format.

You may be wondering, “and what can a mentor do for me?”

A mentor:

  • Has a long-term view of your professional development; 
  • Helps you get to your destination but does not give you a map to get there; 
  • Offers constant encouragement, and through detailed steps leads you to come with a solution to your problem.

In order to have a successful relationship with a mentor, do not hesitate to ask for advice or criticism, talk openly and honestly, and set some initial goal before embarking on the journey.

If you both agree that you will take certain steps, do take them. The most important thing is for you to be approachable and open so that you can hear and understand the feedback from the mentor, whether it is positive or not.