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Guest Blog: SPK- Choosing your mentor

Coaching and mentorship is getting more popular in the SME-world. Also start-ups and young entrepreneurs can benefit from the expertise of a business coach. Coaches make room for opportunities, optimism and they often create an appetite for growth. They support entrepreneurs on a professional and on a personal level.

An external coach helps:
- to look at ideas, challenges and problems differently
- to break boundaries
- to broaden a mindset and your network
- to get things done (external pressure)

Before you start the search for a coach:
1. Make yourself very clear why you need or want coaching and keep the expected result in mind: A coach is not thé answer to your problems, he helps YOU to solve your problems/challenges/etc.
2. Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. But…you have to really want it.

When it is time to pick a good mentor or coach, keep these basic rules in mind:

1. Keep an open mind for the unexpected:
Sometimes the best choice is the one you least expected. Sometimes a totally different approach helps you to solve the problem or gives you the answer you’ve been looking for. A coach with your backround and the same expertise is not always the best choice – you need someone who can challenge you and asks you the right (and sometimes the wrong) questions to get to the bottom of things.

2. Personal click is everything:
It has to click between you and your coach. You are going to work for a (long) period of time together, you better have a good feeling about the person behind the coach. You don’t have to become best friends, but at least have the feeling you understand each other and you aim for the same targets. Trust is very important.

3. Take your time:
Make time to pick a good coach. Meet with your candidate in person, before you start making engagements. Check his/her background and expertise: education and certificates are one thing, expertise is something else. What are you looking for? Does the coach have entrepreneurial skills? What are his talents? What did he accomplish throughout the years?

This article was written by SPK , a partner in the VIVID project

SPK, Strategic Projectorganisation Kempen was founded in the late 80’s as an initiative from local captains of industry and politicians. Throughout the years we transformed ourselves into an organization that believe that the Kempen has enough opportunities to facilitate more economic growth, social progress and preservation of nature and natural resources.
Today our mission is to collaborate with partners and to grab those opportunities by initiating, guiding and realizing renewable projects. This is our contribution to the transition of the Kempen into a sustainable, attractive region.


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