A mentor can have a profound impact in shaping the thoughts, attitudes, and work culture of a person. Mentoring is a reciprocal and collaborative at-will relationship that occurs between two individuals who collaborate and work closely to achieve professional and/ or personal development goals. Mentoring objectives are achieved through employing active listening, showing empathy, building sharp insights through thought and reflection, and motivating the person being mentored to take action towards the realization of self-driven goals. From an organizational viewpoint, this relationship is outside the normal Manager–subordinate relationship that they may have within the organization.

The Mentor & The mentee

In a mentoring relationship, the ‘mentor’ is generally an accomplished and competent person who time and effort in imparting life lessons, knowledge, advice, and skills with a less experienced person referred to as ‘mentee’. A mentor is a person with whom one can develop a long-term relationship that is centered on building the mentee’s growth and development. A mentor does not interact with a mentee on a day-to-day basis or help them take routine decisions, but rather they are available only to serve as a guiding force, offering life lessons, wisdom, and support in developing them as professionals.

Mentorship is Relationship Dependent

Mentorship is relationship-based. Mentor-mentee is a relationship built on the basis of collaboration, personal connection, and mutual trust and respect. The rapport and chemistry shared between the mentor and mentee are pivotal to the success and outcome of their relationship. It is therefore important that mentor & mentee are paired carefully, as any mismatch can lead to poor outcomes.

Mentorship Focuses on Mentee’s Learning

The ultimate objective of the mentoring initiative is to help the mentee learn and develop new skills and knowledge that enable them to excel in their workplace. Mentorship programs should never be about getting better performance from the mentee, but on the contrary, they should focus on developing their capability.

Why Mentoring is Important?

A good mentor can help the mentee become learn new skills, develop a greater sense of belief and confidence that makes them more effective at work as well as take better decisions for their overall career growth. A mentor can help in channelizing their focus and efforts to set developmental goals and giving them accurate feedback. As a result, organizations that are focused on building employee skills are committed to build mentoring programs and create a learning culture. The mentors’ knowledge and expertise can aid in the training and creation of a high-quality and capable workforce that can benefit the organization while equipping employees to become sharper and better.

Benefits of having a mentor

Having the motivation, guidance, and backing of an experienced mentor can place a mentee in a position of tremendous advantage, putting them on a growth pedestal. These associations also provide a great deal of personal and professional development opportunities that ultimately lead to better on the job performance at the workplace. Mentorship programs can offer a host of benefits to all stakeholders. Here are the ten prominent benefits of having mentors that can help you gain from their insights and perspectives.

1. They have gone through the journey, and you can learn from their experience

Mentors have already traveled the journey that you are about to undertake and have worked around problems and challenges and emerged successfully. Mistakes and failures are inevitable in life and business. However, an excellent mentor who has already taken that journey can offer valuable insights from their experience helping you avoid potential failures and pitfalls or having had to learn the hard way. You can leverage your mentor’s experience and use it as a reference to shorten your own path to success and growth.

2. They help guide you toward reaching your goals

More often than not, all that a person needs to succeed is that voice of encouragement that reaffirms they can make it. Having a mentor around means you have someone who is interested in your success—they will be there to encourage you in your professional endeavors. A Mentor is not out there to point out potential flaws, mistakes, shortcomings, or give advice. They also serve as a support system to provide you with encouragement to take risks and believe in yourself.

3. They will hold you accountable

Mentors spend valuable time and effort to help you navigate through your career. They provide inputs and advice to see positive change, and they would be the first to call you out if you are out of line. They hold you accountable and that makes it more difficult to become slack or complacent and therefore disappoint someone who has put in their ample time, effort, and support to see you succeed. What matters is that you are more likely to stay committed to your own progress and goals when you know you are not the only stakeholder in charting your own success and translate your goals into reality.

4. They can introduce you to their contacts and help you broaden your network

One of the advantages of having a mentor is having access to their trusted connection and contacts. Mentors are well-connected and are popular in their professional circles and networks. Good mentors are always looking to give back and contribute to the success of others, which is why they are happy to volunteer as mentors! They can introduce you to their professional network and connect you with relevant and right people, helping you grow in your career.

5. Mentoring can increase your chances of getting a raise or getting promoted

Multiple studies have shown that those who receive mentoring are more likely to get a raise as compared to their peers who chose not to take part in mentorship programs. Studies have also shown that employees who got mentored were five times more likely to get promoted as compared to employees who did not have mentors. This benefit alone should provide all the justification needed to seek a workplace mentor.

6. They offer honest and valuable feedback, helping you grow

Identifying your personal strengths and weaknesses is necessary to understand where you need to focus more to sharpen your knowledge and skills for professional growth. A mentor will offer honest feedback on your progress and performance, highlighting areas in which you excel and those that need improvement. It is always best to be hanging around those who would genuinely challenge your ideas and thoughts and propel you forward. Being around someone who always nods to your ideas and actions will only hinder the development of your own leadership skills and hamper growth.

7. They become the best sounding boards to discuss your ideas

Having a mentor around to bounce off ideas safely and in a non judgemental environment can be of great value in helping you decide the best way to go about a particular situation. For this reason, having access to mentors can make an enormous difference in your life. The presence of mentors to offer suggestions and refine your ideas that lead to better and efficient business outcomes can have a tremendous impact on your life and professional career. Being guided by their expertise and wisdom to, you do not have to reinvent the wheel or go through hard knocks to tide over problems and challenges.

8. They can bring the best out of you and drive your motivation & interest to pursue goals

A mentor can have a powerful influence over your desire and motivation to pursue your goals with passion. They can help you tide over complacency and mediocrity and explore new and exciting ways to add value to your current organization’s success, while stepping up your motivation and interest in routine work. They may also offer advice or suggest ways to pursue activities and interests outside of your organization that might contribute to your career success in the future.

9. They can help you become a highly sought-after professional

Mentors can add a ton of value to your skills and knowledge that provide the competitive edge over others in the marketplace. Besides excelling in normal times, studies have shown that those who constantly upgrade their skills, knowledge and expertise outlive any downturn, recession or even radical transformation in job conditions or through organizational changes. Having a mentor around you who has your back and is committed to your success means that you are constantly in auto-upgrade mode for enhancing your skills and knowledge, making you a highly sought-after professional in the marketplace.

10. They help you grow beyond your job titles

To most people, their job titles provide the window for others to understand them. In other words, they are defined by their job titles, and sadly throughout their career they continue to be defined by their titles even as they rise through their career. The truth is, as an individual, you are more than your job title. While your job title may concede some part of your skills, interest, and passions, it does not disclose the true potential that lies within you. A mentor who works closely with you understands your innate skills and talents and can help you tap into them and unlocking your true potential. They can steer your career in the right direction, even guiding you into positions and work that lets your true skills and capabilities shine.

Summary

To sum it up, mentors have the skills and expertise that they can share through their experiences and help you learn the ropes and unlocking your true potential through professional and personal development. They make your journey easier, helping you avoid potential mistakes and pitfalls and help you navigate through your career. They will back you up when you go through challenging situations and hard times and they would be out there to celebrate your wins, no matter how small or big they are. These reasons themselves provide ample evidence why all career-minded professionals must seek mentors and take part in mentorship programs. While having a desire to be mentored is one thing, it is equally important to know How to choose a mentor and create the right match between a mentor and mentee to ensure productive outcomes.