Develop Your Career And That Of Your Team
Are you accomplished in your career? If you’ve worked in the same industry for a matter of years, you may want to become a mentor. Taking on a mentee or joining one of the countless mentorship programs allows you to succeed in the realms of leadership. Through this system, you will have the opportunity to share your own experiences and help lift professionals up. However, there’s a fringe benefit that you may not have considered. When you work with a mentee, you also build your leadership skills. In the following article, we will take a look at the importance of being an effective mentor.
What Is A Mentor?
First things first, let’s talk about what it means to be a mentor. When you are accomplished in your field, you may choose to give something back to the newcomers in the industry. Think back to when you first started your career. You may have known the basics about your business, but the chances are, you had no idea about the mental side of the field. Having someone support you through this period can make all the difference. When you work alongside a mentor, it means that you have someone to speak to when you are struggling. You can navigate any problems that you have together. You also have the opportunity to ask their advice when you need to work out how to move forward.
It doesn’t end there. As a mentor, you can help new team members to build on their existing skillset. Often enough, you work on conceptual skills. These are the skills that allow you to see the “bigger picture” and work within the business as a whole. Often, this is merely about building confidence, by sharing the confidence that comes with years of experience in the industry. For example, these may include problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, communication skills, and active listening skills. As an expert mentor, you have the opportunity to share all that you have learned with this newcomer.
The Challenges Of Working With A Mentee
Should you choose to start working as a mentor, you will doubtless face some challenges at the start. Mentoring programs will always have their pitfalls. One is that if you want to offer effective mentoring, you need to be able to give criticism. Working with industry newcomers means that you need to give them feedback. However, these individuals may not be used to receiving any type of professional criticism within a workplace. For that reason, it’s important to work on your interpersonal skills and your delivery. A good mentor knows how to break difficult news to their mentee. When you are hosting a mentorship meeting, for example, you may choose to raise any issues. You are asking them to engage in self-reflection here, which can be difficult for anyone, especially youngsters.
The mentor-mentee relationship can often be challenging. If you don’t take the right approach toward it, you will find that it’s hard to share insights with your mentees. With that in mind, you need to take the time to build an excellent working relationship with them. The truth of the matter is that building a successful mentoring relationship takes time. Helping mentees with their personal development and opening up learning opportunities is certainly the aim of the game. But before you can even start to do that, you need to work on your leadership style. The more compassionate you can be, the better.
Scheduling In A Mentorship Program
How does your day-to-day schedule work? If you want to be an effective leader, you need to dedicate time to working with your mentee. That comes down to scheduling. One of the biggest tips you will get is to set aside complete days to work on formal mentoring. Before you get started with any mentorship program, you should make sure you have the time. Review your existing tasks and duties and consider how mentoring fits in with them. It may be worth speaking to your manager and seeing whether you can move things around. Many leaders are aware of the benefits that mentorship programs bring. You can use this fact to your advantage when negotiating with them. You may well find that your manager offers you some free time in which to slide your mentorship duties each month.
Learning Leadership Skills Through Mentoring
One of the biggest benefits of mentoring is that you learn leadership skills. You can take the knowledge that you accumulate into your future roles. The fact that a business has trusted you to share your knowledge and offer a mentee a new perspective means everything. You will find that hiring managers value this aspect of your career history.
When you do opt for a leadership position in the future, you can bet that the hiring manager will take your mentoring experience into consideration. Bolstering your CV with the new skills that you have picked up could change the way they see you. There’s no doubt that junior employees can benefit from having a great mentor. However, you should never overlook how much this opportunity can offer you in terms of professional development.
Do you have what it takes to become a role model? If you’re looking at ways to support your leadership development, becoming a mentor is the answer. It is more than simply acting as a sounding board for someone else. Through leadership mentoring, you will offer the newcomer a different perspective on the industry and help them build the self-awareness to succeed. No matter what your personal career goals are, this step can help you with your professional development.