It's been a while since we've had a guest post, so I've asked my remarkable friend, mentor, sponsor, cheerleader, Corporate (Recovering) Executive, Libby Cheney to share with you some insights on the differences between mentors, coaches and sponsors. Enjoy! - Katie
How are the roles of mentor, coach and sponsor differentiated?
- Mentors listen to you, share information to help you maneuver through the culture and politics of an organization, and help you get the most out of your role.
- Coaches are focused on your performance, both personal and professional and helping you be the best you can be.
- Sponsors appreciate what you bring to the organization and are willing to promote you to the organization, often taking a risk to do so.
How important are they?
Careers don’t advance without them.
I joined the oil and gas industry many years ago, long before the concepts of mentor, coach and sponsor were discussed at cocktail parties. Even so, there were people in every organization who took on those roles and gave of themselves so that those aspirers (like me) could find career success. I will always be ever grateful to the gifted givers who opened doors and paved the way for me.
Some do's and don’ts for working with Mentors, Coaches and Sponsors:
- Engage multiple mentors with diverse perspectives.
- Name them and put the expectations on the table.
- Don’t be afraid to change. Each is especially beneficial in different facets of our career and may change as we advance up the career ladder.
- Never expect them to do the heavy lifting for us.
- Just 'having a mentor, coach and/or sponsor' doesn’t equate to success and stardom. The relationships must be tended and nurtured (like any other).
- The best ways to find a mentor, coach, or sponsor. Network, then ask!