Having a mentor can be vital to your successful career plan. While some businesses create structured mentoring plans, sometimes the relationship grows organically and you may already be someone’s mentor without even realising it.
If you are in a mentoring relationship, have you given much thought to what that means?
Mentors provide insight and guidance, provide encouragement, and share ideas and their own experiences to help another person on their own journey. Typically a mentor is older and wiser and has “been there” and experienced situations similar to what their mentee is experiencing.
A mentoring relationship, whether it be an organic one or from a structured program, can be valuable for both parties involved and the organisations they work for. This is not a student/teacher relationship but is more comparable to that of a guide and their follower – the mentor provides guidance, not answers.
A mentor, through their own experiences, can help fast track their mentee’s learning, provide valuable insights and support them to avoid the pitfalls in their career path.
Being such a unique relationship, both the mentor and the mentee need to take time to think and plan for what they hope to achieve by forming the relationship and the actions they will take to accomplish this. It is possible that both mentor and mentee will uncover new approaches that they can apply to their lives.
A mentor needs to be willing to listen to a mentee’s needs in order to respond appropriately and a mentee should listen to what the mentor is saying to them – careful listening can reveal inner meanings, ideas and information they can apply to their own lives.
As a mentor, you can work on your social and emotional intelligence so you can better understand yourself and others’ emotions and responses. In order to develop social and emotional intelligence you need to take a look at yourself and how you react in different situations. Next time you feel stressed, happy or angry, take a minute to think about why you feel this way.
You can also observe how you interact with others and their reactions to you. How does the communication of your intention reflect in the responses of others? Most importantly for mentors, what did your observation teach you?
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