Do you want to move your career forward? Would you like to develop your leadership skills as well as help others learn, grow, and improve their skills? Or would you like to find someone who can help you do these things? You can. Through a mentoring partnership.
More professionals these days are actively pursuing mentoring to advance their careers. And whether you're on the giving or receiving end, these types of partnerships can benefit your career.
A mentoring partnership can be rewarding to both people, personally and professionally. It's an opportunity to develop communication skills, expand your viewpoints, and consider new ways of approaching situations. And both partners can advance their careers in the process.
In this article, we'll look at what mentoring is, and discuss the reasons why you might enter into a mentoring partnership. Should you offer to help others, or ask for help from someone – or both? We'll also explain how mentoring differs from other types of professional career development relationships.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development. 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 help mentees improve their skills and, hopefully, advance their careers.
A mentoring partnership may be between two people within the same company, same industry, or same networking organization. However the partners come together, the relationship should be based on mutual trust and respect, and it typically offers personal and professional advantages for both parties.
Mentoring and Other Professional Relationships
Coaches, trainers, and consultants can all help you learn and grow professionally. Mentoring is a unique combination of all of these. Let's explore some of the similarities and differences between mentoring and these other professions.
Coaches help you to explore where you are in your career, where you want to go, and how you might get there. A coach will also support you in taking action to move toward your goal.
Coaches and mentors differ in three main ways. First, a coach is generally paid, whereas your mentor will usually be making a voluntary commitment. This means that you can start working with a coach straight away, and that you can rely them not to cancel sessions because "Something urgent's come up". Finding a mentor can take longer, and even when you do, your mentor may find it harder to keep space in their day for your mentoring appointment.
Second, while coaches tend to guide you in mapping out your future, mentors actually suggest several paths you might take, although the choice of where to go next remains yours.
Beyond that, of course, good coaches are professionally trained and qualified, so you can rely on getting a high-quality service from them. They also bring their experience of helping other people with career and life issues similar to those that you're facing.
Trainers help you learn and develop specific skills and knowledge. They typically set the topic, the pace, the goals, and the learning method. While you will obviously choose courses that match your requirements as closely as possible, training courses, by their nature, start with their own agendas rather than with your situation.
Mentoring, however, can be tailored to your needs. While training is often best suited for gaining knowledge and skills, mentoring can also help you develop personal qualities and competencies.
Career Consultants or Career Counsellors mostly work with people in transition between jobs, rather than helping you develop your skills when in a particular role. And, again, your relationship will often be a commercial one.
Benefits to the Mentor
Becoming a mentor can enrich your life on a personal and professional level by helping you do the following:
Build your leadership skills – It helps you develop your ability to motivate and encourage others. This can help you become a better manager, employee, and team member.
Improve your communication skills – Because your mentee may come from a different background or environment, the two of you may not "speak the same language." This may force you to find a way to communicate more effectively as you navigate your way through the mentoring relationship.
Learn new perspectives – By working with someone less experienced and from a different background, you can gain a fresh perspective on things and learn a new way of thinking – which can help in your work life as well as your personal life.
Advance your career – Refining your leadership skills can strengthen your on-the-job performance, perhaps helping you get that promotion to higher management – or into management in the first place. Showing that you've helped others learn and grow is becoming more and more essential to advancement in today's business world.
Gain personal satisfaction – It can be very personally fulfilling to know that you've directly contributed to someone's growth and development. Seeing your mentee succeed as result of your input is a reward in itself.https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_72.htm