A mentor can help you unlock your full potential…if you pick the right one.

Mar 28, 2024
Four essential factors to consider when seeking a mentor or coach

I get that it might seem self-serving for me to dictate the criteria that you should consider when selecting a coach, consultant or mentor to work with.

So, let me note first up that I adopted this list from Craig Ballantyne (author of The Perfect Day Formula) when he presented to a coaching group that I’m involved in.

And with that out of the way, here are the four factors that you must evaluate to choose the perfect mentor:

🎯 Have they been there and done that in terms of where you want to go? Experience really counts – you’ll be more likely to listen to someone who has the runs on the board.

🤝 Do they share your morals and ethics and values in the way of working? You need to feel comfortable taking advice from them. 

👥 Is there rapport so that you want to spend time with them? This will help you stay committed to the process.

🔍 And are there people who are like you who can vouch for the fact that they have been helped by them? Because achieving something in the past is not the same as having the ability and the willingness to actually help others get that result.

A coach, consultant or mentor can help you unlock your full potential… as long, of course, as you pick the right one.

If you’d like some more help with getting that done, take a listen to episode 176 of Commercial Real Estate Leadership.

P.S. I’d suggest keeping in mind that there's a similar list that your prospective clients are thinking about when they’re looking for a commercial real estate advisor (as I explained in this article). The better you understand that criteria, the more work you’ll win from your ideal future clients.


Episode transcript:

It's been nearly four years since I launched CRE Success.

And one of the things that I've learned in four years of running this business is that working with me is not for everyone.

In fact, working with a coach or a mentor or an external consultant, or whatever you want to call it, is not for everyone anyway.

And then for those people who are open to that, they need to be able to find somebody who they align with in terms of values, who has the right experience, so they can build a genuine connection with, and also has a proven track record that they can trust.

So, in today's episode, I want to talk to you about this kind of things that you should consider if you want to work with an external consultant, coach or mentor.

And I think this is relevant for you, even if you're not considering that because the things that you should be considering are probably similar to what your clients and prospects are thinking about when they're considering working with you.

Hello, and welcome back to Commercial Real Estate Leadership. I'm your host, Darren Krakowiak. We're up to episode 176.

And we are here to help commercial real estate leaders who are looking for somebody who can help them make their business larger than it is right now. Bigger than it is right now.

We're all about the growth. And a great way to grow is by learning from somebody who has been on the path that you are on before.

So, today's episode is all about helping you decide who is the right mentor or coach for you.

And as I mentioned at the top of the episode, some of the criteria that I recommend that you consider is probably similar to what your clients and prospects are thinking about when they're considering working with you and others in your business.

Now, before we get into today's episode, I just want to say welcome back if you're a regular listener to the show.

And if it's the first time you've ever tuned in, a very big welcome aboard to you.

Now, if you are a returning listener, one thing that I would love to invite you to do, to even, I’ll say, ask you to do, is to leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts.

Occasionally people say to me, "Hey, I listened to the show, what can I do to say, thanks?"

I don't have a Patreon account, so I'm not going to ask you to deposit $5 in the account.

But I would love it if you could leave us a rating or review.

It's a small thing, a small gesture that you can do to show your appreciation and helps us spread the word about what it is that we're doing here on the show, Commercial Real Estate Leadership.

Just go into Apple Podcasts and follow the prompts to write and leave a review.

Even if you just want to hit that five-star button, and you don't have time to write a review, that only takes a few seconds.

And it will really help us in terms of expanding our reach on Apple Podcasts.

So, if you're able to do that, a very big thank you.

So today, I want to talk about as I said, four things to look for in a mentor or coach.

Now, this list is not my own list. So, I want to acknowledge that this comes from Craig Ballantyne.

And he was a speaker inside a sale’s online community that I'm part of.

And he's an author that's written a number of books, including ‘The Perfect Day Formula’.

And in this particular session that I was in with Craig, he was talking about this book.

But it's kind of as an aside, he mentioned this four, I guess, criteria that he considers, and that he recommends for others when working with a mentor or coach.

And I thought it was a really neat formula. And I thought it would be a great thing to share with you today.

So, let's get right into this list.

The number one criterion on the list to consider when you're working with a coach or a mentor is that they've been there and that they've done that.

So, has this person achieved what it is that you want to achieve?

And I think this is important for a few reasons. If they have done what it is that you want to do, then that means they've got some knowledge and know how that's relevant for your desired future state.

So, when people work with a coach or a mentor or an external consultant, they're generally trying to solve a problem.

And they're looking to close some sort of a gap or to reach some sort of goal.

And if the person that you decide to work with has already achieved the goal that you're looking to accomplish, then they're going to have the context around the problems that you're going to face, that you're facing and that you will face potentially the future.

But also, you're more likely to listen to them because they have more credibility in your eyes.

And when somebody has achieved the results that you desire, then they are naturally someone who you are more inclined to listen to.

So, the number one thing to look out for is, have they been there and have they done that?

And one thing I've noticed online is if you go on Instagram, and I guess it depends on what your feed is like and what the algorithm feeds you.

But I tend to watch a lot of personal and professional development stuff. And there's a lot of gurus out there who are saying, "I can help you do this, and I can help you do that."

But it's not clear to me that they have actually done that thing before.

And I want to know that. Because if they haven't done it, then I'm not saying that you can't teach something that you have never done, but it certainly gives me more confidence to trust that person has the knowledge, has the context, has the know-how, if they have already done and achieved that thing before.

So, that would be the first thing.

The second thing is, do they share your morals? Do they have similar values? Do they have similar ethics?

And I'll give you an example on this. So, you might have noticed if you've ever listened to this show before, that ‘I am not the hustle guy’.

I'm not the one that goes out there and tells you to work twice as hard as you did last year in order to achieve two times, the results.

I'm much more about how we can create more leverage? How can we do things smarter? How can we do things more efficiently?

I think I remember one of my bosses once said to me, "You know, you're a really hard worker, Darren"

I'm like, "No, I'm not."

And I guess he thought I was, because I was getting more things done than others were, but really it was all just about not shortcuts, but just getting things done more efficiently.

And while I'm at work, making sure that I'm working, right?

Doing the things with focus and intention and getting them done. So that's kind of what I'm about.

If that's not what you're about, if you're more looking to do everything meticulously and methodically and follow the exact same process and do it the same way every time.

Like I can remember, in fact, when I was working as in tenant rep, and I was in then the leadership position, and one of the more I guess, middle ranking team members was working on a deal with me.

And I said, "Oh, what's the difference in working with me and the department head?"

And she said to me, "It just gets done quicker with you, it just is a bit faster, it just seems to, we seem to move through deal more quickly."

So, that's kind of what I am about and what I want to help my clients do.

And it's partly about having that context and knowing how to make decision then analyze things and to, I guess, process risk.

So, get an understanding of what the coach or mentor or consultant that you're looking to work for is about? What are their ethics? What are their morals? What do they think is important?

And see if that aligns with what's important to you.

Because if there is a misalignment, then it's going to become apparent, and you're not going to be able to, I guess, take on board what it is that they've got to say, because there is that incongruency between what they're saying and what you believe at your core.

Number three on the list from Craig is rapport.

So, you need to be able to, well, if you don't have rapport to be able to see yourself building rapport with this person.

And some of my coaching clients, not all of them, but some of them say that it's almost like, I'm a business psychologist working with them.

Because we do spend a lot of time together.

And we're talking often about problems. And how they can, I guess, have the tools and resources and beliefs and abilities to cope better with those problems and to look at them from a different angle and to reframe them and then to be better equipped to deal with them in the future.

And we're going quite deep, and we're talking about things which probably they wouldn't usually have the time and the space and the inclination to talk about.

And we are spending time together.

So, if you can't see yourself spending a lot of time with the person who is presenting themselves as a coach or consultant or mentor, then it's probably not going to work.

If you don't have that rapport, then I would recommend, even if they've got you know, the outcomes that you're looking for and you think that they've got a similar sort of process and beliefs.

If you can't see yourself wanting to spend time with them and work with them, then it's not going to be an enjoyable experience.

And it shouldn't be an enjoyable experience, I believe, working with a coach or consultant or with a mentor.

Number four on this list from Craig is references.

So, we might know that this person has been there and done that, but do they actually have the capacity to help others achieve that result?

It’s one thing to be able to have done it and say that you've done something, but do you have the ability, the know-how, the willingness to actually help others achieve that result?

With this, I think you want to really verify that other people can vouch for the fact that this person has helped them with the things that you want.

And in my business, I've gone out of my way to interview certain clients that I think represent certain profiles of future clients that I might be working with.

And this is a great way for you and your business to start to build up testimonials, case studies, to have a library of testimonials that you can present to future potential clients that show them that you can help them.

So that's just a few things that I'd recommend that you consider if you're looking to work with a coach or mentor, a trainer, a consultant.

Just to recap, it's have they been there and done that, in terms of where you want to go?

Do they share your morals and ethics and values and the way of working?

Is there rapport where you want to spend time with them?

And fourth, are there others who can vouch for the fact that they have been helped by them?

And remember, these are similar thing that your clients are going to be looking for from you.

So, I think that when you're speaking to your clients or prospects, it's important to put yourself in their shoes and think, what are they thinking about?

What are they considering when they're making decisions?

And I've talked in previous episodes about the four factors that go into our decision-making process, in a business to business, commercial real estate opportunity.

And it is price, relationship, ability to address the brief, and also your track record.

So, how is your proposal, your conversations, your content, reflecting all of those things to make sure that you have a maximum opportunity to win that work?

And also, do you even want to win that work?

But I'm starting to step into another topic now.

Today's episode has been about what it is that you should look for within a coach or mentor.

And if you want to know more about the way I work with my clients, then I recommend that you download our report, Multiplied Growth.

It comes with a free video series where I talk about different ways that we help our clients with three common problems that we generally see commercial real estate principals and leaders and business owners dealing with.

And the report itself really focuses on organic growth. And we have a number of levers that you can pull, whether it's one lever that you really crank up or it's a few other levers that you make some small improvements on to unlock 28% organic growth in your business.

If you want to grab that, cresuccess.co/growth is the place to go.

That is our episode for today. Thank you so much for listening, and I will speak to you soon.

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