By: Anja Uitdehaag
In the words of Albert Einstein:
“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”.
A mentor-mentee partnership is a personal learning and developmental partnership between someone with a vast experience and some one who wants to learn. It is a helpful relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.
A mentor is a guide who can help the mentee to find the right direction and who can help him/her to develop solutions to career issues. Mentors rely upon having had similar experiences to gain an empathy with the mentee and an understanding of their issues.
A mentor should help the mentee to believe in her-self and boost her confidence. A mentor should ask questions and challenge, while providing guidance and encouragement.
Becoming a mentor can enrich your life on a personal and professional level by helping you do the following:
- Build your leadership skills – It helps you develop your ability to motivate and encourage others. This can help you become a better manager, employee, and team member.
- Improve your communication skills – Because your mentee may come from a different background or environment, the two of you may not “speak the same language.” This may force you to find a way to communicate more effectively as you navigate your way through the mentoring relationship.
- Learn new perspectives – By working with someone less experienced and from a different background, you can gain a fresh perspective on things and learn a new way of thinking – which can help in your work life as well as your personal life.
- Advance your career – Refining your leadership skills can strengthen your on-the-job performance, perhaps helping you get that promotion to higher management – or into management in the first place. Showing that you’ve helped others learn and grow is becoming more and more essential to advancement in today’s business world.
- Gain personal satisfaction – It can be very personally fulfilling to know that you’ve directly contributed to someone’s growth and development. Seeing your mentee succeed as result of your input is a reward in itself.
Successful mentoring begins with setting a contract to establish the nature of your relationship and the specifics around how you will work together. You need to have an open dialogue to establish what will work for both of you.
Go ahead and take the first step. Reach out to a talented woman and find out if you can be of any assistance to her.
I am sure you will be very proud watching your protégée growing and blossoming in her career – proud that you took part in her development!
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