Five Traits of a Great Mentor with Gina Cooper
Industry expert, Gina Cooper is back at Beyond the Technique! If you don’t remember Gina from Episode 105 of the podcast, let me fill you in. Gina is a Wella Master Color Expert, a full-time stylist, and the owner of Spectrum Salon in Park City, Utah. Gina is back to discuss a topic that is dear to her heart, which is finding a great mentor. So, what should you be looking for in a great mentor? Keep reading to find out!
Gina’s ride-or-die mentor is Victoria Thurman Hall of Wella Professionals. In Gina’s words, Victoria has been “absolutely pivotal in shifting [her] career” and Gina attributes this to her tangibility. So, what do we mean by tangibility? Gina defines tangibility as access, communication, and response time.
A great mentor needs to be accessible. This characteristic distinguishes a mentor from a role model. For instance, one of your role models may be Jen Atkin, but is Jen Atkin accessible to you? Probably not. A great mentor needs to be accessible in-person, through email, text, phone call, FaceTime, etc.
Communication and response time go hand-in-hand. Think about visiting a business’ Facebook page; if it says they respond in 3-7 days, that is pretty discouraging. The same reasoning applies with your mentor. When you need your mentor, you want them to be there for you.
Think about your mentor as someone who you are entering into a relationship with; a great boyfriend will return your texts, so a great mentor should, too!
#2 Brand or Technique Identity
Gina explains that she and Victoria strongly identify and connect with Wella. Their Wella tribe is all-black wearing, tattoo covered, nerdy scientists. Beyond their funky scientist exterior, Gina is connected with Wella’s culture and techniques. The bottom line: a great mentor connects you with a brand or technique that you identify with. If you are drinking the balayage kool-aid, a great mentor for you would also be head over heels with balayage.
#3 Core Values
Gina explains that core values aren’t just personal, but professional. Relating on a personal level is what keeps a mentor and mentee connected on a deep level. For instance, Gina notes that she truly admires how kind, caring, and pure Victoria is with everyone she encounters. In turn, Gina has carried forward these values, and they give her the strength to stand on her own foundation. After all, people do business with those who value what they value; the same goes for a great mentor!
#4 Continuous Growth
Victoria and Gina are always talking about continuous growth! In fact, on the day that we chatted with Gina, she had just gotten off the phone with Victoria, and they were talking about this very topic. Gina explained that Victoria is going back to school for her trichology certification. What’s trichology? Great question! Trichology is the study of hair.
Gina admires that Victoria has already gotten so far in her career, but she is continuing to push forward and learn even more! To Gina, this shows that Victoria has a deep respect for the beauty industry (another core value!). The win-win scenario is that Victoria will then share pieces of her new knowledge with Gina. This is the ripple effect that a great mentor will have on her surrounding community. How great is that!
That’s right, R-E-S-P-E-C-T! A great mentor not only needs to have the respect of other industry professionals, but also treat others with respect. Gina shared that when she is in the studio with Victoria for a class, Victoria treats pros with over 20 years of experience with the same respect as someone who has been out of school for three months. Victoria treats everyone in her environment with the respect, and that means the world to Gina!
Now that you know the five traits of a great mentor, keep your eyes open for someone who you can connect and grow with! If you’re looking to find a fabulous mentor, Gina suggests focusing on trait #2. If you love short hair cutting, find a brand or stylist who is amazing and reach out to them! Don’t be scared of a rejection because the right mentor for you will say yes, and it will be amazing!
If you want to hear more from Gina, check out Beyond the Technique podcast Episode 105 as well as the Sexy Science Series Episodes 113-115. Also, be sure to join our sister company’s private Facebook group where you can network and connect with other pros! You may even find a great mentor!