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#334: Even Expert Consultants Need Mentors

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, June 24, 2010
Updated: Thursday, June 24, 2010
Coaching has been getting high marks from successful executives for several years. I've been very successful in my consulting career and just don't see any benefit in it for me. What am I missing, if anything?

There are two issues here. First, would someone as accomplished as you benefit from a coach or mentor? As good as we think we are in a particular discipline, we can see things from only one perspective. All of us go to a spouse, colleague or friend for a second opinion on many issues. Why wouldn't we do the same on our profession? Even Tiger Woods, inarguably one of the best golfers in the world, has at least one golf coach to help him tweak or completely rebuild his swing. Just because you are good doesn't mean you can't improve.

Second, what kind of coach or mentor is best for you? Would you best benefit from a consulting mentor, perhaps a senior colleague whose professionalism and experience you admire? Would a life coach, whose expertise integrates your attitudes, skills and approach to your profession and life, provide a more sustained beneficial change? Or maybe a coach known for developing your capability in a specific discipline such as marketing, public speaking or negotiation?

Tip: Just because you are a good consultant doesn't mean you can self-diagnose where a coach would best help. Take your own best advice (leave diagnosis to the experts) and spend some time with a coach or two to see in what areas you could most benefit.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  coaching  learning  practice management  professional development  your consulting practice 

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Werner Engelmaier says...
Posted Friday, June 25, 2010
I am NOT a management consultant, but an engineering consultant, specifically on reliability/failures of electronic hardware. There is no organization for engineering consultants, that is why I associated with IMC. There of course are also no mentors, no licensing, no guidelines to be had. I have been in business now for 21 years, so I am doing something right, but, other than my technical expertise, I had to learn everything the hard way. I have seen many consultants come and go—unless you bring something to the client and the word gets around, you will not make it.
Some of your Daily Tips are clearly applicable, as are the Professional Ethics, but many others are not.
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