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Need for a mentor

by Karthik Gurumurthy

Who is a mentor? Why do we need a coach?

Often when we think of a coach, we think of an athletic advisor for a sporting event. And, there have certainly been some great coaches who have helped many athletes have a better life because of their influence and direction. In more recent days, however, most of us have heard that a coach can be more than just an athletic advisor. A coach can be someone who gives you guidance in your own personal life and future.


The Johari Window is a communication model that can be used to improve understanding between individuals within a team or in a group setting. Based on disclosure, self-disclosure and feedback, the Johari Window can also be used to improve a group's relationship with other groups

Developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (the word "Johari" comes from Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham), there are two key ideas behind the tool:

   1. That individuals can build trust between themselves by disclosing information about themselves; and
   2. That they can learn about themselves and come to terms with personal issues with the help of feedback from others.

By explaining the idea of the Johari Window to your team, you can help team members understand the value of self-disclosure, and gently encourage people to give and accept feedback. Done sensitively, this can help people build more-trusting relationships with one another, solve issues and work more effectively as a team.



A coach is someone who looks at something with another set of eyes. They are able to give advice on the best way to approach the problems and challenges that a person may be facing. The wonderful thing about a coach is that they usually are not emotionally invested in those situations. Because they are not emotionally involved, they are able to have a better perspective and a more “level-headed” approach in the process.


It is both funny and strange that the coach does not have to be an expert in the exact area in which you need help. Of course, experience is a plus, but just the very fact that he or she can look at your situation from an unbiased, unemotional perspective, is the issue that will help them give proper perspective. All I am trying to point out is that a coach can be someone who simply has a different set of eyes.

You may have heard the story about the eighteen-wheeler truck that got stuck under a bridge in a busy city. The Highway Department tried to figure out how they were going to get the truck un-stuck. They considered everything from cutting off the top of the truck to tearing down the bridge. The truck was lodged so tightly that it could not budge nor move forward or backwards. As all of the city planners and brilliant transportation experts studied the situation, a young boy rode up on his bicycle and observed what was taking place. He strolled over to the man who was in charge and said, “Sir, why don’t you just let some of the air out of the truck’s tires and it will go down a little bit?”

Well, as the story goes, everyone looked at each other in amazement because the solution was so simple! That is the point I am trying to make in this particular Tip. All of us need someone who can look at our circumstances and situations in a different light. They surely will be able to see one part of it that perhaps we have overlooked.

Although I am a big believer in gathering wisdom and counsel from someone who is older and wiser, and who has experience in a particular area, I am also open to the fact that a coach may be anyone who gives me information and direction that will help my life and circumstances to be better.  I know that I am only going to get to live one time so I want to gain all the wisdom I can from as many resources as possible.

I have a personal coach who is at least 10 years older than me. He is ahead of me in life and where I want to be ten years from now. I talk to him about relationships, business, spiritual matters, and other areas of life. I am grateful to have someone who gives me guidance.

I am going to learn from my coaches and I would suggest you do the same. Begin to look around at who you allow to influence your life and who you listen to for advice and counsel. Having a coach makes everything go better!


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