“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
Individual benefits of having a mentor – and being one – are wide-ranging and far-reaching, no matter where you are in your career.
For the organization, these benefits are multiplied:
- improved cooperation and effectiveness
- committed employees
- increased retention
- transfer of knowledge
- creating a company culture of growth and development
- becoming a more desirable place to work
Through developing ongoing relationships with their mentors, mentees more fully understand and embrace company values and culture.
No one questions the immense value of mentoring.
Why then, given how valuable mentoring is, are we not seeing more and more mentoring happening in the workplace?
Here are three ideas you (or your organization) can implement to start mentoring now.
Find your own mentor whose expertise and attitude are right for you.
The right match is key and will establish a “make it or break it” difference. A mentor could be an executive or senior employee at your company. A mentor should be several “levels” up, and someone who is both respected and interested in contributing.
Or, you might find a mentor in your industry but outside your employer, as you meet experts through alumni groups or trade associations.
To be successful, you – the mentee – will need to take full responsibility for the mentoring relationship, including being clear on what you want to accomplish, being willing to learn, and accepting guidance.
Get a “reverse mentor” – a colleague younger than you, most likely a millennial.
I personally learn a great deal from a 20-something I work with very closely – including new technologies, expanding social media audiences and presence, new creative ideas and ways to approach projects, and added awareness of things I did not even know existed. I am also continuously amazed at what my 20-something daughters can do or teach me.
What could having a reverse mentor do for you?
Get your organization on board – and in tune with the times – by establishing a company-sponsored mentoring program.
According to Dee Elliott, President of DECMentoring, mentoring programs create organizations of learning, discovery, and understanding. DECMentoring uses proprietary technology to match mentors and mentees who engage in a 9-month mentoring relationship, including one-on-one meetings and group training sessions.
In the process, everyone (the mentee, the mentor, and the organization) become better versions of themselves, while improving awareness, confidence, leadership, listening, communications, and effectiveness.
Everyone needs a mentor. Who will be yours?