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Mentors, Sponsors and Coaches, oh my !

I was very fortunate to spend a wonderful lunchtime in the company of amazing women and men, "Choosing a Mentor" Executive Women's Luncheon Series.

Claire Pierce was the first speaker and she asked the group if any of us had or has a Coach, Sponsor or Mentor, I didn't raise my hand as I was uncertain of the definition. Once explained I could confidently raise my hand, here are my understanding of the definitions:

Sponsor - someone who will go out on a limb to promote you, they must see you as a rising star and you must respect and do your very best to meet that expectation as both of your brands become linked. The sponsorship relationship is two-way.

Coach - a trusted person to can go to for help in resolving challenges.

Mentor - a teacher, someone who will challenge you and ask the difficult questions to lift your game

Linda O'Brien then followed with the wonderful advice:

"The best relationships start with you"

  1. Take time to self-reflect to know your strengths, gaps and what direction you want to go in

  2. Find a person who has demonstrated skills to fill that gap, and has been on that journey

  3. Connect with them and don't be afraid to set expectations

  4. It's ok to end the connection if it has gone full circle or it isn't working for whatever reason.

  5. When deciding on who to reach out to, don't approach them with the question of "I need help..." in mind, rather consider:

  • "Who do I know who I can buddy up with and they can suppo