Building and sustaining thriving professional communities across time zones requires intention and attention. It helps to have a coaching or mentoring program that’s easy to explain and implement.
Everyone has a talent story to write. But it’s not always easy to pull it up and get it out. A coach can be helpful as a catalyst to stimulate thinking, to crystalize a path forward, to navigate a difficult situation with aplomb. Sure, some ideas gel in private, but we grow exponentially with a little help from our friends and associates.
“My top takeaway [from my coach]: we need to challenge the way we look at legacy systems and the culture associated with going through transformational change. We need to reconsider how we respond to such change.”
The power of a coaching connection transports us to new places, clarifying a career trajectory or increasing confidence:
“Don’t be afraid to take chances when networking. That fear moves you from your comfort zone and drives you to succeed as long as you have the tools, ambition, and skillset needed to succeed within that position.”
Coaches and mentors need to know your hopes for the discussion topic and why those hopes are important. This anchors the discussion and increases the chances for a fulfilling and helpful session.
[My coach helped me see that] “I need to be more proactive and reach out since nothing will happen if I just wait. I also need to learn how to get to the root cause of something instead of explaining around it.”
Sage advice: Trust and allow members to help each other flourish
Professional organizations offer mentoring to members as an added value within a tiered benefit package. And when the mentoring program is easy to use, when members “don’t have to jump through hoops to find topics or coaches,” the number of participants in a program grows quickly.
Reducing the friction for connection makes connecting more fruitful and rewarding. “The default is people connecting within the platform. It’s all right there, making it so much easier,” declared the coaching platform administrator for a national organization.
She continued: “Coaching is a huge component of our career resource offerings. We want members to see people like themselves. We look at what types of learners are meeting with what types of coaches. We want to be the hub for coaching resources for our state associations and all of our partners. The way the platform is set up, we can do that so easily, indicating different cohorts and groups. Customization is also really helpful: selecting for a conversation topic, area of expertise, and location.”
[Ours] “is a small world so it can be lonely. But it’s amazing to connect with people in other states and regions who are going through the same things. It works very well on a national scale.”
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