The Importance of Mentoring

Have you ever thought that you need a mentor and haven’t been sure how to find one? Do you have expertise in an area that would be beneficial to share with someone else? If the answer to these questions is yes, read on.

Mentoring is an important part of ongoing learning and growth. Mentoring can be done in different ways:

·       Flash mentoring is a quick engagement with a mentor to share expertise on a specific problem.

·       Group mentoring is a way to learn from a group of people. It often involves various opinions as well as brainstorming to help the mentee come up with the best solution.

·       1:1 mentoring involves a mentor with certain expertise and a mentee that is seeking advice on that expertise. Typically the mentee searches out the mentor, but it is also common for a mentor to offer help. This is the most common mentoring engagement and can last for any period of time. Personally, I have a mentor that I’ve been working with since 2001!

Being a mentor or mentee involves time and commitment on both parties. The mentee is expected to lead the conversation with the mentor asking questions and sharing advice. It is common for the mentor to give the mentee “homework” and it is up to the mentee to complete the homework in order for the mentor to help them move forward.

If you are lucky, you are in an organization that has an electronic way to connect mentors with mentees depending on the needs of the people. For example, at one organization I worked, I started a program and worked with a vendor to have a system that was similar to a dating site matching service. I was surprised that I got matched with someone in Information Technology, especially since I say I’m the least tech person I know.

How’d that happen? I was in search of someone to help me better understand the culture as well as how to manage up to difficult managers. Although I teach people to manage up, for some reason it is hard to take my own advise. He was the perfect match. I scheduled our time together as the mentee and he never missed a day. He offered opportunities for me to explore other areas within the company and to network. It was a win for me! He also was very humble and asked for my opinion on his mentorship. Being humble is key.

Many employees don’t understand what mentoring means. Maybe you go to a conference or local class and find someone that you feel you may connect with? Maybe a manager said you need a mentor?

You are in charge of your future. Finding a mentor can help you navigate the sometimes difficult path of life. Check out my short video of the benefits of mentoring that I did in collaboration with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Chronus.

Reach out and schedule a complementary consult if you’d like help starting your mentoring program!