Building Relationships With Your Peers: Coach or Mentor?


Every person is not a natural coach or mentor.  Discovering one or more, who can assist you, in addition to your boss, is highly desirable.  The coach needs to have the self-confidence to make suggestions, corrections, and help correct your direction.  A mentor needs to be someone who can guide you and make suggestions about your career progress.  The most successful of your colleagues (see Discussions with Successful Colleagues) may not be the best coach or mentor.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Determine if there are any team members who have an interest in mentoring and who might take a long-range interest in your development ability
  • Network with other new members of the team to discover who was helpful to them when they started
  • Learn who naturally, and without value judgment, could give you short term direction and make suggestions to help you learn more quickly
  • Determine who has strengths in areas where you need to learn or grow and could be a technical resource to you
  • Ask question when you don’t know the answer
  • Ask how often you can meet with them.

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