The Importance of Being a Mentor and Having a Mentor
Humans are social beings and we weren’t meant to go through life alone, especially in our careers or business. That’s why having a mentor, and then one day being a mentor, is one of the greatest success tools you can ask for. Fortune 500 companies see it as key to their success. 71% of these high-achieving companies encourage mentorship programs for their employees.
A mentor is more than just a role model. A mentor is someone who can advise and support you through your personal or business growth. Someone to champion and cheer for you along your journey. They can also be the one to give you that kick in the butt when you’re not being true to yourself.
Mentorship has played a large role in our lives so today we thought we’d share what to expect when having a mentor and being a mentor.
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
— John C. Maxwell
Having a mentor
Over 75% of executives say that having a mentor has been critical to their career development (American Society for Training and Development). Mentors serve as their sounding board to provide critical, impartial, and objective opinions and advice based on their knowledge and experience.
To get the most benefit from having a business mentor, you need to have the right business mindset & be:
- Committed to learning,
- Driven for self-improvement,
- Clear on your goals, needs, and wants,
- Ready to ask for help and show vulnerability,
- Accepting of feedback, and
- Willing to be accountable.
One of my life-long personal mentors is actually one of my teachers from grade school when I was 11 years old. She’s known me and my family for a long time and at a very deep level. The value she holds in my life is incalculable. She’s always there across the table or on the other end of the phone to advise and support me.
I’m a big believer that you have something to learn from each person on this earth. So, I’ve sought out formal and informal mentors in my professional career. Each person offers me a small piece of themselves that I can transform into my own life when I need it.
Finding The Right Mentor
It’s important that you’re looking up to people who are living lives that align with your values. The best mentors are ones with the right knowledge and experience to guide you exactly where you need to be. Having a mentor who was/is on a similar journey and who has a vested interest in your success will bring you the most benefit.
Good mentors must be willing to be open, honest, and vulnerable about their experiences so you can truly learn from them. Here are questions to ask yourself before choosing a mentor:
- Does this person seem sincere in their desire to help others?
- Is this someone I feel comfortable asking questions to get advice?
- Is this person in the same arena as me (aka can they relate)?
- Do they have a different valuable perspective?
- How could this person help me improve my skills?
- Are they connected to the right people that could also help me in my journey?
- Can this person actually dedicate the time to mentoring?
Not all mentor relationships are 1-to-1. Often you can find a mentor to lead a small group of people. This is often called a mentoring circle. The mentor provides support for all the members in the group and group members are asked to support one another as well.
Women in Tech World offers Mastermind Groups for Aspiring & Executive leaders as well as Founders that connect mentors with like-minded entrepreneurs as they all navigate the waters of creating and maintaining their businesses, all while elevating their careers and those around them. Until April 30th, they are offering free registration for all Women during this time. A collective community is something we all need right now so head to https://www.myceo.ca/about-women-in-tech-connect to register and to join your group today.
Being a mentor or having a mentor is one of the best “educations” you can receive in your lifetime. You enter into a kind of reciprocal arrangement where you both share and receive knowledge (although often the mentor shares more than actively receives).
When you enter into mentorship relationships, it’s important to set some ground rules. Discuss the following:
- What skills do you want to improve?
- How often do you want meetings/check-ins with your mentor?
- What goals and objectives do you have?
- How do you want to be held accountable?
- How do you want to give and receive feedback?
- What methods of communication between formal meetings are acceptable?
You may want to consider creating a formal mentorship agreement so each party is clear on the expectations and responsibilities of the relationship. It also helps to emphasize that anything you discuss in your mentorship meetings is considered confidential and private.
Being a mentor
At some point in your career, you may decide it’s time to become a mentor yourself. You’ve seen first-hand, the benefits of having a mentor, now it’s your time to give back.
When you invest your time and energy into being a mentor, you have the opportunity to help shape and change the trajectory of your mentee’s life and career. You can pass on important skills and knowledge to this mentee and that gives me so much personal satisfaction, knowing I’m truly helping someone.
No matter if you are the mentor or the mentee, you will only get as much as you give:
- As a mentee, genuinely take all your mentor’s advice to heart, and act upon their advice that truly makes sense for you. Be gracious and show your mentor how much their support means to you.
- As a mentor, be completely open and honest in sharing your information and knowledge. You never know what tidbit or story from your journey will inspire them.
There is nothing more gratifying than watching the relief on someone else’s face as they realize that they are not alone. My being and my businesses have always been better for it.
Knowledge: The most valuable commodity
Knowledge was made to be shared. When we help others to grow, we may learn something new about ourselves and our on-going journey in life or business. It’s the most valuable commodity we can share because it could be invaluable to someone else.
No matter where you are in your career, the right mentor can energize you and provide counsel when you need it. And when you mentor others, exposing them to otherwise inaccessible experiences, you can accelerate their careers and help them succeed.
Are you looking for a mentor yourself? We can help you find the right mentor, even if it’s not us! Connect with us today and we’ll help you find a mentor to help you elevate your life in ways you never thought possible.
Or, to help entrepreneurs and business owners alike, we are holding free 15-30 minute consultations to answer any business questions you may have. With times like these, we can all use additional support so it is our pleasure to help in any way we can. To make a booking, head to https://www.myceo.ca/contact to schedule your meeting day and time.