Mentorship can seem like a complex concept, but what it really boils down to is guidance. We all need guidance at every stage of life, whether it be personal or professional.
Being a mentor is a significant role, and it is essential that you understand the impact you may have. We really like the “see one, be one, teach one” approach, turning mentees into mentors.
Mentors should keep the following tips in mind:
- The relationship is key. Mentorship is not one-size-fits-all. Take the time to build an authentic bond.
- Build your character. Don't just focus on fine-tuning hard skills. It's about sharpening one’s character, ability to lead, conflict resolution, and becoming more self-aware.
- Keep the mentee in mind. As a mentor, your role is to help promote and support your mentee. Don’t focus only on helping them find their strengths, but help them uncover their passions as well.
- Don't be a "fixer." Your responsibility isn’t to give all of the right answers; it's to ask the right questions to help them discover the answers themselves.
The mentor relationship has a major impact on everyone involved. Mentees are promoted five times more often than those who don't have a mentor*. Employers see benefits as well. Mentorship helps with retention, workplace efficiency, and encourages continual learning and development.
Looking for a mentor?
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to those you look up to. It doesn’t have to be someone in your department or even in your company, but rather someone who embodies the qualities you value.
- Think of someone who will encourage and challenge you. Getting outside of our routines and comfort zones helps us grow. Choose someone who will be your biggest cheerleader, but also hold you accountable.
- Plan for the future. Picture what you would like to accomplish in the next 3-5 years and surround yourself with people who will help you get there.
If you feel stuck, reach out to your manager or Human Resources team to help you connect with the right people or resources to find your mentor.
Looking for more on professional development? Check out The Value of Lifelong Learning.