The power of mentorships
Every workplace is full of people with different levels of experience, different goals and different ways of tackling both opportunities and challenges. In any organisation, there are plenty of opportunities for mentorship and it’s crucial that your team engages with each other in this way, whether formal or informal.
What do mentees stand to gain?
When thinking of mentorships, people often imagine a wise old leader taking a young rising star under their wing. This can happen, of course, but it’s important to remember that mentorship continues to be essential, even for those wise old leaders. There’s almost always someone out there with more experience than you that you can be mentored by – perhaps you may need to look outside your organisation, if you are a manager or CEO, but the opportunity is still there.
Regardless of your age or your experience, a mentor can provide you with:
New perspectives – whether it’s a different outlook on a new challenge, innovative ideas, or simply just a different way of thinking, mentors can provide mentees with a different perspective that they may not have considered otherwise, opening them up to new possibilities.
Different opportunities – sometimes, when you’re in the thick of your own career, it can be hard to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Mentors can help you to see the opportunities that present themselves and they can also help you to expand your network, introducing you to new people with even more opportunities to offer.
Accountability – everyone has goals but a mentor can help you to keep moving forward, instead of just getting stuck treading water. By confiding in a mentor, you can share what you hope to achieve and how you hope to do it. From there, they can encourage you, help you out when you’re struggling, and spur you on with the next small step when you’re not sure if you can do it.
What can you stand to gain by being a mentor?
Just as there are plenty of opportunities to be mentored, there are also opportunities to mentor others. Your experience is valuable and you have wisdom to share, whether you know it or not. Being a mentor can help you to:
Grow your leadership skills – anyone you mentor will look to you as a role model and as a source of encouragement, much as they would a formal leader (of course, you may be leading them in another capacity too, but every mentorship is different). In a mentorship you can grow these skills on a smaller scale and understand the impact of your words and actions.
Be confident in your own knowledge – over your own time in your organisation or throughout your whole career, you’ve collected quite the range of knowledge. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like that until you start teaching someone else. Sharing this knowledge can be a great boost in your own confidence and help you to feel affirmed.
Build on your communication skills – mentorships are a conversation. Communication is crucial and as you have conversations with your mentee, you’ll understand better how to convey your ideas, thoughts, and feelings. You’ll also understand how your mentee processes the conversations you have, and you can adapt accordingly.
Whether you’re a mentor or a mentee – and we sincerely hope you have the opportunity to be both over time – there are so many things to gain from a mentorship. The relationships you build in the workplace are incredibly influential and these positive, encouraging conversations can grow success for years to come.
Are you ready to foster mentorships in your organisation? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.