Should I Get a Coach or a Mentor?

Should you get a coach or a mentor?

Today I had the opportunity to listen to Tim Ferris interview with Eric Schmidt (@ericschmidt) Technical Advisor and Board Member to Alphabet Inc. The discussion was a bit on Eric experience before joining Google on Eric and more about the legendary coach and business executive Bill Campbell.

Eric spoke highly of Bill Campbell and how he helped him in his personal and professional life. Recently Eric and a few others wrote about Bill Campbell that called Trillion Dollar Coach
the book should be available in the market on April 16th.

 

I didn’t think much of coaching in my life until recently when I joined AltMBA. One of the standard practices in AltMBA that you get coached by colleagues through questions were all of us had to read a beautiful book called the Coaching Habit. Then I realized that  I am being coached at Udacity by my manager without me being aware of it. Coaching for me helped to understand my strength and identify areas of improvements.

Also, there’s been situations where I was coaching someone, and I enjoy it. But one of the challenges that I am facing is switching to advise mode half-way through the coaching.

Should you get a coach? I don’t know – can coaches help you in business or personal life?

What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor? This what Forbes says:

Mentors are successful people who share their hard-won wisdom to provide insight and guidance as an entrepreneur encounters challenges along her journey. They typically function in a reactive capacity, responding to issues as they arise. Mentors may not have expertise in the mentee’s field, but they understand how to navigate business in general.
Coaches, on the other hand, often have expertise in the same field as the people they’re helping. They’re usually trained and certified as coaches, possessing strong process management skills

Finally, I thought about searching the word coaching in the famous comics Dilbert, and the results were just funny! Here’s one that I liked:

Coaching as per Dilbert. Source

Noticing the details

A pattern that I noticed yesterday on the Mosque prayer mat

I was at communication using drawing workshop with Von Glitschka end of January 2019. He was talking about texture exploring trip that he did that day. At that time, I was amazed by how he gets to notice such details.

However, over time and after spending several hours practicing drawing, I started to notice patterns. I don’t know what happen, was it a switch that got turned on? That led me to question; How our minds get to notice the details? How suddenly I started to see? Is creating stuff from scratch help us notice things?

The healthy and unhealthy side projects

It all started when my friend Tonya Mork posted the following tweet about focus on twitter the other day.

The tweet triggered something I’ve been battling with for a long time which is applying focus on side projects. I have a hard time choosing which side project to do. Tonya replied with an interesting take:

So according to Tonya, there are two types of side projects. One of them is healthy, and the other is not so healthy (why just cannot I say bad? ). Let’s try to visualize to digest it a bit.

Side projects as per Tonya Mork. Illustrated by the author.

What about an example?

This is how I internalized and digested what Tonya just said . Let’s assume this how the human brains looks ( I have a feeling that I will be murdered by neurologist)

How the human brains look as per the author

If I understood Tonya correctly, then the healthy mode for side projects would be something like this.

Healthy side projects

As you can see above, we are hitting different neurons. Therefore there could be a possible stimulation that get generated by these kind of activities which Toney mentioned like drawing, writing etc.

Where an unhealthy mode of side projects could look like this

Bad side projects

What’s happening here that we are diverting the energy from the vital work and hitting the same neuron. An excellent example of that if you are a coder by day and your side project at night is coding as well.

However, I still have a couple of questions:

  • What if I am not utilizing my creatives neuron or creatives cells 100%, can I still use them again?
  • What if over time and by building experience, I am outsourcing my creative work to be autopilot neuron, where I don’t need that much energy? Is that possible?

Finally, This is one take on side projects. I hope that I cover different aspect of side projects in the future.