Most likely you’ve heard of the term ‘mentor’ before, but do you really understand what it means to be a mentor or to receive mentoring? This October myHRcareers will launch it’s first mentorship programme and in preparation we’ve addressed a few common questions surrounding the matter. As always, it is our fondest hope that all our members will join this programme and reap the personal and professional development rewards that mentorship can bring!
What is a mentor?
There are many different types of mentoring, but in general a mentor is someone who shares their experience, knowledge, and skills to help someone else reach their personal or professional goals.
During mentorship, the mentor may give advice, offer honest and constructive feedback and support, and be both a confidant and a cheerleader. Being a good listener is essential to being a good mentor, as the position calls for a thoughtful analysis of what’s been said.
This relationship is both consensual and voluntary, and does not necessarily rely on age so much as it does experience. In order for the relationship to be successful, you not only need mutual trust, but both parties need to be willing, engaged, and committed. There is no time limit for mentoring, but ideally the relationship is a continuous one that can offer growth and development over a long period of time.
What are the advantages of being a mentor?
Being a mentor gives you the opportunity to help others develop their potential by being an honest and empathetic support system. Through careful listening, sharing experiences, and providing thoughtful feedback you have the ability to really nurture someone and lead them to a personal or professional success.
Sharing firsthand experiences of hardships and failures gives you the opportunity to help guide someone else so that they don’t make similar mistakes. This can be very rewarding, fulfilling, and positive experience.
Mentorship will help you as well! Talking about your own personal experiences can help you reflect on your own journey, growth, and development. The person you’re mentoring may also offer their own feedback and can challenge they way you think. In addition, mentorship enables you to practise your leadership and management skills. Being a mentor requires responsibility and can draw out individual qualities you may not know you had!
What are the opportunities of being mentored?
We like to think we’re all-powerful and all-knowing, but the reality is everyone has room for improvement and growth. Whether it’s personal or professional, it’s important to have goals. Being mentored can provide you with insight and out-the-box thinking to help you achieve, get feedback, or even redefine these goals.
You get out of mentorship whatever you put into it. Whether you just want someone to lend an ear and listen to you or use them as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, it’s nice to be able to refrain from holding back due to fear of criticism and judgment. Mentorship should be comfortable, supportive, and even humbling for both parties.
Once again, this relationship is heavily based off trust and needs to be that way in order to be successful. Having a mentor can help raise your confidence, give you the faith you may feel you lack, and the motivation to accomplish the things you want to.
As you can see, having a mentor is mutually beneficial and promotes development for both parties. This partnership can also help expand your network and allows you to questions things instead of taking them for face value.
Are you interested in being a mentor or being mentored? Why not join the myHRcareers mentorship programme that kicks off on the 19th October and find out first hand the benefits of having/being a mentor. Register your interest here.