What Does Being A Mentor Really Mean?

All seasoned professionals have a responsibility to pass on their knowledge and insights to the younger generation.

Young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from finding a mentor irrespective of the industry.

Mentoring boosts the leadership pipeline – Ensures industry secrets and successful practices are shared and utilised.

Also offers real-time work based learning and allows young professionals to put theory into practice, and face the impact their actions have, which in turn helps them become well rounded business leaders.

So, what does it really mean to be a mentor in today’s competitive business environment:

Not all mentoring relationships work out

Sometimes people just don’t gel due to a personality clash or different working styles. This can be avoided by setting expectations from the outset and being upfront about what the protégé hopes to gain from the experience.

Being a Mentor is About Suggesting – Not Instructing

Mentor’s should resist the urge to provide directional advice as this will lead to the individual reliving their mentor’s journey, rather than creating their own.

Ask Smart Questions

You don’t need to have all the answers. By listening to your mentee and asking the right questions, you will encourage critical thinking and support in finding the answers more organically.

Being A Mentor Takes Time

It is a big commitment so be honest about how many hours you can do, the subject areas that you’re knowledgeable about and preferred method of contact. Being well-organised helps the protégé understand what they can expect from the experience.

Start Of A Lifelong Partnership

When both parties understand each other, mentoring can lead to a long-lasting connection which empowers both mentor and mentee. The best mentoring relationship sees the mentor come away having learnt just as much from their mentee.

Opinion Post: Rob Gowling, Head of Chiron Marketing Solutions.

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