Home » Blog » Mentor and Mentorship: How Does It Work?
Success is said to come with insight, yet understanding can only be gained through looking at the world through a different lens than your own. No matter how successful you think you are, you will not be able to maintain it unless you continue to approach life with an inner curiosity and a desire to learn about other people’s perspectives.
Unfortunately, this is rarely accomplished on one’s own.
There’s probably been countless moments in your life where you’ve leaned on someone you trust for advice or assistance. Whether the person you turn to is a professor, friend, family member, athletic coach or other, the importance of mentors is undeniable. These people can help to guide, direct, and shape your present situation and future opportunities for the better.
Almost every successful leader has a mentor and coach. Why do they require the assistance of a mentor? Successful people recognise the importance of input. Successful leaders recognise that one person’s revelation is another’s experience. Which is why, rather than coming from a self-righteous place of god complex, successful people invest in themselves by engaging with a professional mentor or coach, making them comfortable with vulnerability and open to learning.
We want to clarify: Success is Subjective. It depends what success is to you.
If leading a healthy life is success to you, your mentor will differ from someone who wants to enhance their personality. As always, being aware is the key.
Success does not imply that you have mastered life and are now free to bow and take a seat. Whether it’s a personal or professional failure, we’re still vulnerable. True self-conscious people do not misuse the power that comes with success; they are aware that they may make mistakes, but they are also aware that their coaches will catch them if they fall. Individuals who have achieved long-term success, such as Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Andre Agassi, have all worked with a mentor, according to evidence.
So in the world of mentor-mentee relationships, how does the relationship work? How does it benefit the one being mentored? How can you become a mentor?
And the biggest question: How to choose a mentor?
Let’s go through it one-by-one.
Table of Contents
As simple as one can get the meaning of mentorship is to be guided. Mentorship is a major part of current work culture.
A mentoring is a partnership between two people in which the person with greater experience, expertise, and connections can pass on what they’ve learned to a less experienced person in the same industry. The mentor is the more senior person, and the mentee is the more junior one.
The mentor benefits because they are able to guide the next generation in an area they are passionate about and ensure that best practises are passed down; the mentee benefits because they have demonstrated that they are ready to advance in their career and can receive the additional support they need to do so.
Mentoring requires a lot of effort and preparation. It takes time, patience, faith and commitment.
But so does growing in your career. Success always requires determination and perseverance. So don’t give up!
“An experienced and reliable adviser,” is the dictionary definition of a mentor.
A mentor is someone with whom you can establish a long-term connection focused on the mentee’s growth and development. A mentor does not work with a mentee on a daily basis to assist them in making decisions, but they are available to provide support, advice, and teaching over time.
It’s important to distinguish between a mentor and a coach. A coach is someone who concentrates on a person’s individual skills and limitations. A coach’s relationship with their athlete or client is also typically finite, whereas a mentor/mentee relationship is typically long-term and less regimented.
Never be afraid to seek out a mentor—even if you aren’t sure how to get started, or your first attempts don’t work out the way that you might have hoped.
A mentor is someone with whom you can form a long-term relationship through time. This emphasises on the mentee’s development and growth. So, what role does a mentor play in the life of a mentee?
A mentor can assist you in moving forward in your career and connecting you with chances that you might not have otherwise been aware of. They accomplish this by sharing their experience, assisting you in identifying opportunities, and possibly opening doors for you when the time comes.
Almost every great achiever throughout history has claimed to have had a wonderful mentor at some time in their journey to greatness.
Mentorship is an important tool for bringing one’s vision to life. Mentors are intended to guide and advise their mentees in order to help them develop a successful career or establish a firm foundation within a company. A mentor usually only has one mentee at a time, which allows them to focus on shaping their mentee.
The mentor looks after the mentee, guides him, and teaches him new skills. Mentoring benefits people in a variety of ways, including providing opportunities to gain new skills and information, providing suitable counsel on professional development and advancement, and providing exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking.
Nowadays, there are also plenty of new portals and websites that offer a variety of specialised mentorship programmes through which people can find a personal mentor to help them achieve their goals.
It is important not to confuse mentoring with coaching. These two terms are often considered synonyms and though they do hold some similarity – both are practices that target personal or professional development – they ultimately are different, separate things.
Mentoring requires a long term relationship where the primary goal is to support the growth of the mentee. The mentor is supposed to advise, teach, and support without asking for specific behavioral changes or prescribing a set course of action.
Coaching, on the other hand, is usually a short-term affair, focused either on building or eliminating specific behaviors. A coach gives advice and feedback and knows precisely when his work is done.
Both mentoring and coaching are very valuable in giving developmental support, but one offers high-level guidance for long-term development and the other focuses on immediate and very specific improvement.
Like every relationship, mentorship also requires effort and hence has three pillars in which it stands strong.
As the mentee, you must have a clear, defined, and measurable goal. It is not your mentor’s responsibility to assist you in determining what you hope to achieve from the experience. Then you must be eager and willing to learn. You will not be able to grow from the experience if you are locked off. That is a problem that your mentor will not be able to tackle on their own.
A successful mentoring relationship, which is a two-way process based on common interests, areas of focus, problems, and ambitions, is built on three interdependent pillars: trust, respect, and commitment.
Have Faith: Mentees should have faith that their mentor is looking out for their best interests when delivering advice. Mentors should trust that their mentee is really interested in improving their skills and is open to instruction, and they should treat the information supplied by the mentee with care and discretion.
Respect: A feeling of deep respect for each other’s knowledge, experience, abilities, traits, and achievements is a natural byproduct of any trust-based relationship. It’s vital for a mentoring relationship to succeed if both parties respect each other.
Commitment: Commitment comes naturally when there is trust and respect. When a mentor and mentee commit to making the most of each other’s time and talent, their relationship grows stronger, which helps the mentee advance professionally.
Always keep in mind that you will only receive out of a mentorship what you put into it. Your mentor can only take you part of the way; the remaining half demands the mentee’s participation.
In today’s tough world, where volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity are on the rise, good mentorship is especially vital. Employees at all levels are concerned about their job security and personal safety during the pandemic. In such difficult conditions, a company that cares about its employees’ well-being should engage in strong mentorship programmes to help guide the most vulnerable members of the workforce and increase their morale.
Mentorship is extremely valuable in a formal context. However, not everyone benefits from mentorship in the same manner. As a result, below are some of the most common types of mentorships.
Mentoring on a one-on-one basis
Because it pairs one mentor with one mentee, this is the most prevalent mentoring style. It enables the two to form a personal bond in which the mentor can provide personalised instruction and assistance to the mentee. Because the timetables are easily agreed upon by the interested parties, this sort of mentoring requires little involvement from HR.
Group mentoring, as the name implies, entails a mentor working with multiple mentees at the same time. The club meets on a regular basis to discuss various issues. Everyone contributes their ideas and discusses their experiences, so it’s a combination of senior and peer mentorship. However, as is often the case with groups, scheduling meetings that accommodate everyone proves to be a challenge. Because the personal bond is lost, many organisations combine this sort of mentoring with one-on-one mentoring, scheduling individual meetings between the mentor and each of the group’s mentees.
This edition includes both mentoring and a training curriculum. A mentor is assigned to a mentee in order to assist him in developing skills and competencies that are covered in the mentee’s courses. However, training-based mentoring is limited (and goes against the traditional definition of mentoring) because it focuses on the subjects being taught rather than the mentee’s overall development.
This methodology ensures the establishment of a mentoring culture within the company. Executives who have clearly achieved a high degree of achievement and skill are given the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience, ensuring that nothing they know is lost when they retire. Executive mentoring is most effective when done one-on-one, especially when the mentor is grooming the mentee to take over.
Mentoring based on resources
One-on-one mentoring is similar to resource-based mentoring. The most significant distinction is that mentors and mentees are not interviewed and matched by the program’s coordinator. Mentors agree to have their names added to a list that mentees can choose from in this version. Although the fact that the individual seeking advise and support initiates the connection ensures their participation in the programme, there is a risk of a mismatched mentor-mentee pairing because expert supervision is not involved in the process.
Getting a mentor is the best way to fasttrack our performance and knowledge. Many other benefits do come along with getting a mentor.
Mentors pass on their knowledge and experience to you so that you can benefit from it. You can then apply what you’ve learned in class to your personal and professional life.
Help You Set Your Action Plan
Mentors are fantastic at assisting in developing an action plan. It’s very normal to get caught up in the tornado of our daily chores and errands to the point that we forget about the things that matter to us. Mentors are excellent at assisting you in pressing the pause button and reconnecting with what matters most to you in life.
Assist You In Getting Better
It’s usually easier for someone who isn’t you to recognise where you need to improve. Over time, a mentor will learn your strengths and weaknesses and can play an important part in assisting you in becoming the best version of yourself.
Increase Your Professional Network
Mentors are typically well-connected and well-liked, which is why they choose to mentor! They can connect you with their professional network and assist you put yourself up for career success.
Mentors aren’t just there to point out shortcomings and offer guidance. They also act as a source of inspiration, encouraging you to take risks and believe in yourself. We can get stuck in a rut and lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Mentors guide clients through a process of discovery and transformation to rediscover and reconnect with their values.
Provide Unbiased Assistance
You can seek counsel from your trusted mentor when you need to ask someone’s opinion on a major decision. While some mentors like to help you find your own solutions, others may give you plain answers. They can assist you in making judgments in either case.
Mentors are able to look at your situation objectively and provide you with greater insight. We all have blind spots or hidden sections of our sense of self that we don’t even realise we have until they are brought to our attention. Mentors assist clients in identifying limiting ideas that keep them trapped, and we then examine the evidence to question their unhelpful beliefs and work on building new belief systems that will change their way of thinking and acting.
Help You Learn from Own Mistakes
It is unavoidable to make blunders in life or in business. Mentors do come from the same place as you. You can, however, learn from your mentor’s prior experiences and stories in order to prevent making major mistakes in your own life.
What are the abilities you need to gain now versus in a year?
Career development is never linear, and the same mentor who can help you now may not be able to help you in five years. As a result, you must first assess your existing development needs before moving on to future ones.
Before training you for the future, your mentor must help you achieve in the present. One step at a time, work on your career progress. A mentor-mentee relationship that lasts 12 to 18 months is frequently the most beneficial.
A mentor who has the following qualities will be of your advantage-
Honesty and well-honed communication skills are essential.
Out of the box Thinking
Commitment to learning that lasts a lifetime
Don’t bend over backward to accommodate someone else’s lessons by modifying your work approach. You could put your energies to greater use. Nobody is flawless, including you, and your future mentor. Is this person going to enhance or detract from your personal style?
Before committing, take a good, hard look at your potential mentor’s attitude on life, your field, and business values. The chances of meeting someone who completely matches you are minimal, and it’s a moot matter if you’re going to evolve into a better — and hence different — version of yourself over time. Concentrate on life ideals like learning, perseverance, attentiveness, and trust.
If your mentor does not encourage you to consider different perspectives, you will not learn anything new. Consider your mentor’s capacity to bounce ideas back and forth with you, keeping in mind that your mentor should share broad concepts with you. You want someone that has similar experiences to you, whether it’s in terms of techniques or issues they’ve had in the past.
Younger people may believe that mentors know more just because they have more experience. Even if they believe otherwise, those mentors rarely succeed.However, it’s critical that anyone looking for a mentor recognises the difference between someone who intentionally educates mentees by questioning their positions when necessary rather than criticising their ideas on a regular basis.
Mentors are intended to benefit from your relationship just as much as you do. And some of them are self-evident: finding a successor, establishing a new management pillar in the organisation, or establishing a new business relationship. Mentors, like everyone else, have their own urgent needs and priorities.
Giving back to your mentors pays off since they will be more likely to stay engaged in the connection for longer. Mentorships that work are two-way streets in which the mentor learns new things as well – not by drawing on the mentor’s expertise, but by offering new insights about new developments that were not present when the mentor was younger.
“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” — Steve Jobs
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” — Bob Proctor
“I think the greatest thing we give each other is encouragement…knowing that I’m talking to someone in this mentoring relationship who’s interested in the big idea here is very, very important to me. I think if it were just about helping me get to the next step, it would be a heck of a lot less interesting.” — Anne Sweeney
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey
“A mentor is not someone who walks ahead of us and tells us how they did it.
A mentor is someone who walks alongside us to guide us on what we can do.”
― Simon Sinek
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” — Steven Spielberg
Mentoring is a two-way street. However, if everything goes as planned, both the mentor and the mentee will gain from the experience.
One day, you might be able to use your experience to mentor someone in a similar situation to yourself. It’s critical to pass on what you’ve learned to others, just like your mentor did for you. That is how you will benefit and grow from this crucial friendship for the rest of your life.
Mentoring involves a significant amount of time and planning. It will require time, patience, faith, and dedication. The mentor benefits because they can mentor the next generation in an area they are passionate about while also ensuring that best practices are passed down; the mentee benefits because they have demonstrated that they are ready to advance in their career and can receive the additional support they require.
A mentoring relationship is a partnership between two people in which the person with more experience, skill, and connections may teach a less experienced person in the same sector what they’ve learnt. The mentor is the more senior individual, whereas the mentee is the less senior individual.
Having a mentor is the most effective technique to improve our performance and knowledge. Mentors pass on their expertise and experience to you in order for you to benefit. Mentors are excellent at assisting with the creation of an action plan. A mentor will become familiar with your talents and shortcomings and can assist you in becoming the best version of yourself.
One of the popular quotes on mentorship is as follows:
Some of the most common types of mentorship are as follows:
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