1 Mentors support growth
Mentors encourage and enable another person’s professional or personal development. A mentor can help focus their efforts by setting goals and giving feedback. As a result, companies that want to build employees’ skills often create mentoring programs. The mentors’ knowledge can help train and create a high-quality and productive workforce. Employees appreciate workplaces that encourage development, as it can demonstrate that their employer values them and wants to see them grow.
2 Mentors serve as a source of knowledge
Mentors can provide specific insights and information that enable the mentee’s success. For example, they offer instructions on how to perform particular tasks or develop useful skills. Individuals starting their career can benefit from such guidance, as it helps them feel comfortable in the role more quickly. For example, a mentor can help a person starting a business learn how to develop their initial business plan and budgets.
3 Mentors can help set goals
A mentor can help their mentee set personal or professional development goals. For effective goal-setting, they can create SMART goals—specific, achievable, relevant and time-based. These goals can help focus the mentee’s efforts and make it easier for the mentor to track and assess progress. They may identify smaller tasks in pursuit of a larger objective to develop specific skills or meet particular priorities.
4 Mentors maintain accountability
A mentor helps hold their mentee accountable for their goals. By tracking progress, the mentor helps the mentee stay focused and on track towards completing them. It can also ensure that the mentee does not forget about the goals they have set. Knowing that someone else is watching can serve as motivation, as the mentee likely does not want to let the mentor down by failing to meet goals.
5 Mentors offer encouragement
When the mentee finds themselves struggling to perform their job or reach a goal, they can turn to their mentor for support. This encouragement can motivate them to keep moving forward despite challenges. A mentor can also identify and express their mentee’s strengths to instill confidence in them. Having a strong sense of confidence can make the mentee less likely to give up on their goals.
6 Mentors help make connections
A mentor can help build their mentee’s professional network. When the mentee identifies professional or personal goals, the mentor can connect them to potential opportunities or individuals who can help them. As the mentor typically has more industry experience or a higher-level career, these connections can be valuable for career advancement.
7 Mentors are willing to listen
When an individual has ideas, they can use a mentor as a resource to discuss or try them. The mentor can provide unbiased advice or opinions using their relevant knowledge and experience. With these insights, the mentee can better understand what steps to take and whether to pursue the idea or walk away. Similarly, a mentor can also listen and advise them on daily concerns, such as workplace conflicts.
8 Mentors serve as a trusted ally
Trust represents a core element of mentoring relationships. The mentee must trust that the mentor has their best interests in mind and will provide accurate and honest guidance. The business world can also be competitive, so they need to rely on one another to keep confidential information private when necessary. Communicating regularly and following through on their promises demonstrate two methods of establishing trust in these relationships.
9 Mentors can offer constructive feedback
A trusting mentorship relationship enables honest feedback. By establishing trust, the mentee understands that constructive criticism aims to build their professional growth rather than make them feel bad. Mentors can identify weaknesses and advise them on ways to improve. Because this is a professional relationship, the mentor plays an objective role. Meanwhile, a friend may hesitate to identify the mentee’s weaknesses because they do not want to appear critical.
10 Mentors provide guidelines
For individuals just starting their career, a mentor can help set guidelines on professional expectations. For example, they may clarify the priorities of the role and proper workplace behaviors. These guidelines can help the mentee establish appropriate work habits that enable them to focus and perform their job successfully. These effective work habits can help them be more productive and impress their supervisors.
11 Mentors have relevant experience
When possible, individuals should choose mentors who have the experience relevant to their profession or goals. When mentors convey their successes, the mentee can use them as an example to strive toward and copy the steps they took. Mentors can also share the mistakes they made along their journeys. The mentee benefits because they learn lessons about the mistakes’ negative impacts but do not have to suffer the consequences themselves. Learning about these experiences can also help prepare the mentee for the challenges they can expect to face and provide demonstrable advice on how to overcome them.
12 Mentors are a free resource
Mentorship typically occurs due to networking or company programs, so mentors do not seek payment. They offer to serve this role because they genuinely want to help the other individual grow and establish a more authentic and personal connection. The lack of payment also opens up mentorship for all types of people, rather than restricting this resource to only those who can afford it. (Indeed.com)
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