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Who is a Mentor ?- The importance of mentors for your career

In this article we will be discussing the following; who is a mentor, What is Mentoring and why do I need it, and What are the qualities of a good Mentor? , Should I join a Mentorship Program?

The word mentor comes from the character “Mentor” in Homer’s epic tale, The Odyssey. Mentor was a trusted friend of Odysseus, the king of Ithaca. When Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, Mentor served as friend and counsel to Odysseus’ son Telemachus.

Either in a discussion or while reading you must have heard of the term Mentor/Mentoring or even Mentorship. Yeah, there are a lot of Mentorship programs out there which at one point or the other you must have come across. 

In Whatever level of your career you find yourself in, personal and professional development are vital. However, if you have little professional experience, you could occasionally feel disoriented when navigating your career path and sector. This is were a mentor comes into place

From not making certain business decisions to fostering certain partnerships, a mentor can help guide you through your entrepreneurial, Career or Life journey.

A mentor is a person who has years or decades of practical experience in your field who can help you develop your professional abilities and learn priceless lessons.

Nowadays, getting a mentor is a significant piece of advise from globally successful business people. This is because mentoring is important for both personal growth and career situations.

The purpose of mentoring is to grow by tapping into the knowledge and experience of someone further along than yourself. It’s the best way to accelerate your development.

Who is a Mentor?

A mentor is someone who acts as an advisor and support person for someone less experienced. Traditionally, the relationship is between an older employee and a younger one for the purpose of career development. With a primary focus on growth and development.

A mentor is someone who gives you advice on how to develop your abilities, make wiser choices, and obtain fresh viewpoints on your life and profession. Your mentor will use their experience to help you now and in the future with your professional or personal life as a mentee.

A mentor is someone you may look to for guidance and a role model to emulate rather than learning through trial and error.

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What is Mentoring?

The Term Mentoring refers to a relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development. It usually exist between two or more people , referred to as  The Mentor and Mentee.

The “Mentor” is usually an experienced individual who shares knowledge, experience, and advice with a less experienced person, or “mentee.”

Mentors become trusted advisers and role models – people who have “been there” and “done that.” They support and encourage their mentees by offering suggestions and knowledge, both general and specific. The goal is to help mentees improve their skills and, hopefully, advance their careers.

The goal of mentoring is to pair up someone with extensive knowledge and experience with someone who hasn’t yet attained those same levels of knowledge and experience.
 
By having someone who knows more than yourself share advice, offer guidance and be a sounding board for your thoughts you stand to benefit from experience beyond your own. Whether in your career or life, having a mentor is crucial to all of our continued growth and development.

Who can be a mentor

A mentor is someone whose life or work you value and appreciate, and who you believe would be an excellent guide. A mentor may be of any age and in any sector these days, therefore we advise you not to think of a mentor in conventional terms. Too frequently, we limit our mentors to individuals in positions of authority.

Mentors are persons who can help you with your personal and professional growth by providing you with direction, advice, support, and information.

Importance of Mentors for your Career

Having a mentor can help you in developing useful extra-role skills and build key relationships; being a part of a mentoring relationship can be transformational for early career professionals. Saving you time and the cost of learning through trial and error.

  • You gain access to industry insights and expertise from someone in a later stage of their career
  • You have someone to help channel your ambition into actionable steps
  • You get someone to help you market yourself by building a strong resume or a personal brand
  • being helped to identify and correct gaps in generic skills and knowledge
  • Increasing your confidence
  • Developing and maintaining a broader perspective on career options and opportunities
  • Having access to a senior role model

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What values should a mentor have?

Highlighted below are a few values a mentor must possess.

  • Highly regarded technically and interpersonally.
  • Willing to commit the time and energy to the mentoring process.
  • Willing to share knowledge, provide objective feedback, and help set development goals.
  • Willing to act as a sounding board and confidante.
  • Willing to participate in mentoring training to learn the tools of the program, and their roles and responsibilities as a mentor.
  • Open to feedback and suggestions for improving his/her effectiveness as a mentor.
  • Honors the principles of trust, respect, and confidentiality.

What are the qualities of a good mentor?

There are several characteristics that you need to have to be a good mentor. These include:

  • Motivation
  • Communication skills
  • Enjoy learning
  • Team player
  • Committed
  • Positive attitude

What is mentorship?

The influence, direction, or advice provided by a mentor is known as mentorship.

Its emphasis extends beyond mastering certain skills or activities and instead focuses on creating a trusting environment where the mentee may feel comfortable asking for assistance on matters that could affect their professional success.

The main ways that mentoring succeeds are through empathic listening, sharing of experiences, the development of insight through reflection, and motivating the mentee to take action in the direction of self-driven objectives. As a result, the mentoring relationship is centered on the mentee, with mutually agreed-upon goals and expectations. It pays attention to the mentee’s ideals and needs while also showing respect for the mentor’s expertise, time, and resources.

What are the 3 C’s of mentorship?

The 3 C’s of mentorship are key elements that underpin successful and effective mentoring programs. The 3 C’s stand for Clarity, Communication, and Commitment.

Clarity

It is critical to have a clear goal in mind. Determining what needs your mentoring program will address ensures that the proper mentors are selected, the correct measurements are implemented, and the right expectations are made with mentees. Mentoring programs include to mention a few, onboarding, development (skills and leadership), career progression, new job transition, and diversity. Each mentoring program should be unique, with specific goals and metrics in place to assess its impact and performance.

Unsurprisingly, despite the fact that the objective, technique, and consequence of each are completely different, there is still confusion between mentoring and coaching. Clarity relates to clearly describing the program’s aim and the needs you want to meet.

Communication

After you’ve clarified the purpose of your mentoring program and described how you’ll help mentees enhance their skills. Efficient knowledge flow between Mentors and Mentees is enabled by effective communication.
Good communication would make it simpler to locate possible mentors to help your mentoring program.

Corporate executives and some of the busiest people in the sector are often perfect mentors for many businesses. As a result, recruiting a diverse variety of potential mentors that represent the diversity of your workforce and mentees demands a strong communication plan that stresses both the individual advantages of being a mentor and the program’s benefits to the business.

Commitment

To be truly effective, mentoring programs require ongoing commitment from the organization, mentors, and mentees.

Mentors must make a time commitment to truly help mentees. To minimize meeting cancellations and mentees getting disillusioned and bored with the program, proper reflection on how much time can be committed to mentoring is required.

Finally, mentoring programs demand the mentee’s dedication to guarantee they get the most out of the connection. Preparation includes things like identifying what you want from the connection and committing to take action between sessions.

 

What are the 3 A’s of mentorship?

A mentor is a competent, attentive partner in a partnership who is dedicated to first comprehending and then confirming or drawing out the mentee’s ideal form. To do this, a mentor must put the three A’s of mentoring into practice. Which are Availability, Active Learning, and Analysis.

Availability

Being available to your mentee as a mentor involves making yourself, your thoughts, your experience, your knowledge, and your understanding available to them. It also entails being truthful and open with your mentee in order to build their trust and promote a healthy relationship.

You must take into account the availability of a Person if you are a professional or investor seeking the ideal mentor to assist you in expanding your firm. Your mentor has to be accessible in a variety of ways in addition to making time for you and consenting to one-on-one sessions. They must, for instance, be emotionally accessible. A mentor accepts today’s status but has a vision for the future of the mentee in faith.

Active Listener 

This is the most basic strategy for assisting a mentee in succeeding. Active listening is a crucial ability that is not covered in the classroom. It can only be learned via repetition. Therefore, you must assess a mentor’s listening skills while selecting one.

A mentor who is paying attention to you will steer the conversation and steer clear of dead ends and closed-ended inquiries. They accomplish this by making general inquiries that propose potential conversational paths and conclusions. You must realize as a mentee that your mentor’s role is to only enable self-discovery; it is not their responsibility to provide you advise or fix your difficulties.

Analysis

To comprehend your worries and provide the best solutions as soon as feasible, your mentor must possess great analytical abilities.

A mentor must stay current in order to successfully address the most recent business difficulties. Additionally, they have to be adaptable enough to shift their point of view and analysis in light of the most recent developments in the sector. A competent mentor must therefore analyze every scenario fairly and objectively.