Career partnerships – mentor, coach, sponsor

11 June 2021 | Columns

Chaze Nalisa

A few weeks ago, I shared an article titled ‘Network is a Currency’. In today’s piece, I would like to draw attention to network partners who aid in catapulting careers. A successful career requires three vital partners: A mentor, a coach and a sponsor. Someone said “know the difference and have all three”.

In a nutshell, a mentor is an advisor, a coach is a listener and a sponsor is an advocate.

Mentorship can either be a formal or informal partnership. When one is in need of advice, support and encouragement, due to some experiences, they seek the partnership of a mentor. The mentee identifies areas of learning and development, while the mentor sources the knowledge, proposes the growth initiatives and unlocks the potential in the mentee. The partnership does not require the mentor and mentee to have the same or similar career paths, be from the same organisation or even from the same industry. The objective is for the mentee to gain insights and experience from the mentor or from the mentor’s network. The partnership is initiated by the mentee, who reaches out to a mentor that he or she identifies as fitting for the purpose, based on their developmental needs.

The meetings and interactions are ad hoc and are generally initiated by the mentee.

A coach is required when one has very specific tasks to achieve. These tasks may require horning new skills. The coachee may also simply have a specific professional problem that they need to overcome with the help of an expert in the field. As a result, the coach-coachee partnership is time-bound and goal-focused, with defined results, and is therefore performance-driven. In addition, each coaching partnership is unique, therefore the framework is determined by the coach and coachee.

Both the coach and coachee drive the relationship. Either one of the parties can initiate such a relationship. In a coach-coachee relationship, it is ideal that the coach has the same or similar career paths or skills background in order for the partnership to be impactful. The meetings are usually set in intervals, with the mandate of discussing tactics and results for the set goals.

A sponsor is someone that ensures that the mentee takes the next step on their career ladder. I call this a network-orientated ‘mentorship’. While a mentor supports generic learning and development, and a coach facilitates very specific skills enhancement; a sponsor opens the doors to opportunities where the mentee can now apply their gained experience, knowledge and skills. A sponsor is more personally involved in the mentee’s career progression. The sponsor believes in the strengths and potential of the mentee and, in turn, understands the mentee’s limitations, and is thus able to advocate for them. He or she advocates for the mentee in public and private, wherever opportunities arise. A sponsor only advocates for capable, integral and professional mentees. A sponsor is usually someone with a network larger and more impactful than that of the mentee. They have influence and decision-making power within the industry the mentee desires to grow.

It is not necessary to have all three partnerships simultaneously. I would say a sponsor is a vital one to have at all times. At different stages of one’s career, there may be need for either a mentor or a coach, and not necessarily both. Nevertheless, coaching can be an initiative embedded within a mentorship process. One can find a sponsor by enhancing their personal brand and visibility, or through the networks of their mentor or coach. It is possible to have one partnership that fulfills all three roles, but it is worth understanding the role that each career partner serves in order to ensure that the partnerships are strategically established.

Similar News

 

How to impart financial wisdom to the next generation

4 days ago - 18 June 2021 | Columns

Financial confidence is developed at a young age – here’s how you can help.One of the best gifts parents or guardians can give their children...

Career partnerships – mentor, coach, sponsor

1 week ago - 11 June 2021 | Columns

Chaze NalisaA few weeks ago, I shared an article titled ‘Network is a Currency’. In today’s piece, I would like to draw attention to network...

How to combat negativity in the workplace

1 month - 21 May 2021 | Columns

Analene MeyerWe spend the majority of our waking hours at work. It’s worth taking the time to help make it a place that you –...

Keeping it real

2 months ago - 01 April 2021 | Columns

It’s Easter weekend and it's beautiful to see the number of event posters for different shows taking place this weekend. Last year, around this time,...

Matter of fact:

2 months ago - 31 March 2021 | Columns

In the story ‘Namdeb set to evict tenants’ published 29 March, Namibian Sun reported that Namdeb was evicting its employees from houses it owns. The...

Building self-confidence through self-awareness

2 months ago - 26 March 2021 | Columns

Self-management is the second pillar of emotional intelligence, as described by Daniel Goleman. Following his theory, to be able to manage ourselves successfully, we need...

Corruption - A social disease (Part 174): Namibia at...

2 months ago - 25 March 2021 | Columns

Public perceptions about how well government is handling job creation has decreased since 1999 as is evident in data reported by the Afrobarometer in 2019.An...

Social Awareness: The ability to understand and be empathetic

3 months ago - 19 March 2021 | Columns

Gabrielle BotelhoEmotional Intelligence (EI) is the capacity that we all have to lead our relationships and ourselves. EI consists of four essential capabilities: self-awareness,...

Reasons for employee turnover and how to eliminate them.

3 months ago - 12 March 2021 | Columns

Along with lack of career development, work-life balance, and manager behaviour as the top categories, there are other essential reasons. They include wrong hiring strategy,...

Declare state of emergency in Kunene

3 months ago - 12 March 2021 | Columns

The picture of humans and animals scrambling for rotten items at waste disposal sites in Kunene are the clearest evidence yet that the region is...

Latest News

Geingob’s vaccination status is unimportant...

9 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES AND OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKPresidential advisor Alfredo Hengari says questions over when President Hage Geingob is expected to get vaccinated for...

Leadership at core

9 hours ago | People

She is passionate about mentoring and grooming young girlsEnzo Amuele Gift Dapewa Amwaalwa (26) is an aspiring young leader who believes in improving the...

Congo says investor Gertler's permits...

9 hours ago | Economics

Democratic Republic of Congo said exploration permits from companies controlled by Israeli investor Dan Gertler for two huge oil concessions near the eastern border with...

Nigeria could launch pilot digital...

9 hours ago | Economics

CAMILLUS EBOHNigeria's Central Bank is preparing a digital currency pilot that could launch as early as the end of this year, its director of information...

EDITORIAL: Leaders fail to inspire...

9 hours ago | Opinion

It is often said that leaders must know when to lead, when to follow and when to accompany. At the time when leaders from across...

Education ministry talks AS level...

9 hours ago | Education

Elizabeth Joseph On Monday, 14 June, education minister Anna Nghipondoka said for all the schools to successfully implement the AS level as part of...

Photo of the week

9 hours ago | Education

CAPTION: Amid the closure of schools and the announcement of the winter holiday, we are reminded about the educational booklets that help learners remain active...

This week, My Zone set...

9 hours ago | Opinion

Mia Botha It’s definitely self-discipline and the ability to adapt to any situation at hand. You’ll have to be able to focus on what...

South Africa's economy to grow...

9 hours ago | Economics

VUYANI NDABASouth Africa's economy is on track to grow 4.1% in 2021, above recent median forecasts for Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole but not enough...

Load More