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Two Heads Are Better Than One

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John Norton - Expert Author

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23 April 2013

Mentoring

During much of my working career whether as office junior or board member I was always able to turn to someone else for feedback or advice.

Did I do something as well as I could have? How had someone else tackled that issue elsewhere? I was lucky to have some excellent bosses and some great team colleagues who could always bring another dimension to the thinking or had the benefit of some previous relevant experience.

Once I branched out on my own, one of the biggest things I missed was those extra brains to turn to. Not to tell me what to do, but to provide different viewpoints and more options. Bank managers, accountants, even old colleagues were not the same. They had their own agenda, often different to mine, and were busy with their own things. Unfortunately there is no replacing the power of a good team of people to solve problems and get things done, and in the stages of a business when youíre on your own, or with a very small staff, you canít reproduce that environment. However you can go some way to helping yourself by working with a Business Mentor.

There are many definitions of a Business Mentor; everyone seems to have a different one. Each mentee will see different key benefits to having a Mentor but among them are:

Having a sounding board for new ideas or problem solving

For me the overriding benefit is to have someone as a sounding board. Someone to test your ideas and reduce the risk thatís inevitable in business, by making you think more deeply about where youíre trying to get and how youíre getting there.

Getting a different perspective on your business

Often your Mentor will come from a very different background to you so will approach issues from a different direction and be able to point you in the direction of more routes to solving problems. The very fact that theyíre not involved in the day to day work of your operation also enables them to have a completely new view on things.

Receiving encouragement and building confidence

Itís lonely running your own business even if youíve got a small team with you. Your mentor should be someone whom you can learn to trust to give you encouragement and confidence when things are tough, and praise and congratulation when things have gone well.

Develop personal skills, knowledge and experience

Your Business Mentor should help you to develop your reasoning and problem solving skills, provide guidance on skills areas with which they are more familiar, and suggest areas where you can get further help and tuition.

Receive non-judgemental support, guidance and practical help

Whilst you should not view your Mentor as a consultant or advisor they will be able to give you practical guidance on areas which you are unfamiliar with and possibly provide access to their own contacts who can help you in specialist areas.

Create new ways of thinking to help you find your own solutions

The important thing to remember about Business Mentoring is that it is a learning process where the mentee develops his own solutions to problems under the guidance and encouragement of the mentor, who helps the mentee to develop his own skills during that period.

Remember that your Business Mentor is not there to:

  • Dispense discipline. Itís up to you to pull your weight,
  • Act as a personal counsellor,
  • Moan at,
  • Be a personal friend. Mentoring needs to be an objective relationship,
  • Provide detailed advice or consultancy,
  • Do the work for you.

Visit the Government sponsored web site MentorsMe.co.uk to find out more about Mentoring. Many Business Mentors offer their skills free including us here at Business Perfection so there is no reason not to take advantage now and get another brain working with you on your business.


About the Author

John Norton, is a senior business and finance professional with a big four, blue chip, software and technology background, and board level leadership experience in finance, IT, operations, customer service and general management.

He is owner of No Worry Web, which creates and manages small business web sites and social media presence, for an all-inclusive monthly fee. For further details see www.noworryweb.co.uk or call 0845 5191 275.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-07-10 09:09:21 in Business Articles

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