Mentoring is a powerful personal and career development tool that can enable the mentee to achieve or exceed their life's goals and aspirations. A mentor according to Merriam-Webster is 'a trusted counselor or guide'. Although the term mentor was derived from ancient Greece, neither its meaning nor purpose has changed or diminished through the millennia. The role of a mentor is multi-faceted, may be formal or informal, and may change or evolve as the needs of the mentee change. A mentor can be a role model, coach, sounding board, voice of reason, emotional support, counselor, and a trusted resource. What does a mentor do? Depending upon the mentee's needs a mentor:
- Provides guidance and advice
- Offers encouragement
- Is genuinely interested in the mentees questions and concerns
- Is open and honest
- Explores different careers
- Discusses goal setting
- Advises on professional development
- Identifies resources
- Helps to develop leadership skills
- Provides insight into corporate culture
- Can provide exposure and visibility within an organization
- dvises on networking and networking opportunities
- Reviews resume
- Provides interview tips
- May introduce to contacts
"A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself." Source: Oprah Winfrey. Mentors guide, motivate, inspire and support – enabling the mentee to achieve their life's goals and aspirations. Join MentorCity™ and help a mentee reach their full potential.
In today's competitive landscape a mentoring relationship can give you an edge that differentiates you from your peers and/or your competition. You may be ready to make a career change or advance in your present career but something is holding you back. Wouldn't you benefit from a relationship with someone who may provide knowledge, insight, support, guidance, and open doors for you? It may surprise you that some of the world's most rich and famous had mentoring relationships to help them in their quest for excellence. Here are just a few famous mentoring relationships:
- Brian Mulroney (former Prime Minister of Canada) mentor to Karl Péladeau (Quebecor CEO)
- Marc Andreessen (multi-millionaire founder of Mosaic and Netscape) mentor to Mark Zuckerberg (billionaire founder of Facebook)
- Warren Buffet (billionaire financier) mentor to Donald Graham (publisher, Washington Post) and Michael Lee-Chin (CEO, AIC)
- Bobby Orr (Hall of Fame hockey player) mentor to Dr. Robert Thirsk (astronaut, physician, engineer, scientist)
- Ingmar Bergman mentor to Woody Allen
- Joe Weider mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Richard Burton mentor to Sir Anthony Hopkins
Having a mentor can provide you with many advantages. "Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction." Source: John Crosby. A mentor can help to shorten your learning curve, open your mind to new ideas and possibilities, identify opportunities and advise on how to promote yourself. If you select a mentor who works at the same company as you do, they can provide invaluable insider information on how to navigate the company politics and achieve your goals. Mentoring is not just a great idea, it is a proven concept:
- Employees who received mentoring were promoted FIVE times more often than people who didn't have mentors. Source: Sun Microsystems
- 75% of executives point to mentoring as playing key roles in their careers. Source: ASTD
- 95% of mentoring participants said the experience motivated them to do their very best. Source: The War for Talent
- 96% of executives say mentoring is an important development tool. Source: Account Temps
- 44% of CEOs list mentoring programs as one of the three most effective strategies to enhance women's advancement to senior management. Source: Dr. Belle Ragins for Catalyst
"A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could." Source: Unknown. Join MentorCity™ and take the first step towards achieving your goals and dreams.
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." Source: Winston Churchill. Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge and expertise with others? Being a mentor can be a powerful experience that produces great benefits for both the mentor and mentee, tangible and intangible. Sun Microsystems compared the career progress of approximately 1,000 employees over a 5-year period and this is what they found:
- Mentors were SIX times more likely to have been promoted.
- Both mentors and mentees were approximately 20% more likely to get a raise than people who did not participate in the mentoring program.
- 25% of mentees and 28% of mentors received a raise – versus only 5% of managers who were not mentors.
Being a mentor affords you the opportunity to give of yourself in a unique relationship that may benefit you in many unexpected ways:
- Learn something new: A mentor/mentee relationship adds value to both parties. You will learn from your mentee. They may have skills and knowledge that you don't possess. The mentor/mentee relationship may stir your creative juices and give you a fresh perspective on your own career.
- Increase employee retention at your company: 77% of companies with mentoring programs were effective in increasing retention. Source: The Center for Creative Leadership.
- Improve productivity: Managerial productivity increased by 88% when mentoring was involved verses an only 24% increase with training alone. Source: ASTD.
- Personal satisfaction: Being a mentor provides a level of personal satisfaction that is priceless. It affords you the privilege of giving back or just giving of yourself for no reason at all.
"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person." Source: Mother Teresa. Join MentorCity™. Be that leader. Be a mentor. You can make a difference one person at a time.
"A mentor is a person who leaves a living legacy behind in the form of people who have benefited from the mentor's life experiences." Source: Unknown. Each one of us has a life that is a unique tapestry and within the threads of that tapestry are life experiences waiting to be shared. You don't need all the answers, possess a PHD or be the CEO of a Fortune 100 company. You should however have a genuine interest in sharing your life experience and expertise in a mentor/mentee relationship. There are many qualities and skills that good mentors share. Mentors:
- Listen: Can you offer an ear, and not necessarily advice?
- Are Accessible: Does your schedule permit a mentoring relationship?
- Share: Are you willing to share your knowledge, expertise, skills, and time?
- Motivate: Can you motivate the mentee to reach their full potential?
- Provide Insight: Can you use your personal experience to help your mentee avoid mistakes and learn from good decisions?
- Guide: Can you guide the mentee to determine his/her right course of action; not preach or dictate?
- Provide a Positive Influence: Do you project a positive, upbeat image? Are you a positive role model?
- Are Honest and Open: Can you offer your thoughts and constructive feedback honestly and openly?
- Provide a Fresh Perspective: Can you help your mentee see a situation with fresh eyes?
- Offer Advice: Can you offer advice – only if asked? Your mentee may want a sounding board to help him/her work out issues and come to their own conclusion.
- Are Cheerleaders: Can you offer support and encouragement?
"Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A word of optimism and hope. A ‘you can do it’ when things are tough." Source: Richard M. De Vos. Join MentorCity™ and make the world of difference in the life of a mentee.
Mentoring relationships are as unique as the mentor and mentee and there are no hard and fast rules. "Securing the right mentor is a major hurdle, but maintaining the relationship can be just as challenging". Source: Harvard Business Review. It is important to define the mentoring relationship. There are two types of mentoring relationships:
- Formal – meet on regular basis
- Informal – meet on an as needed basis
Your mentoring objectives determine the type of relationship that will best suit your needs. Once you have established the type of mentoring relationship it's time to add structure.
- Video Conferencing
- Live Text Chat
Frequency of Meetings:
- As Needed
- Days of the week
- Time of day
Length of Meeting:
- 15 minutes
- 30 minutes
- 45 minutes
- 60 minutes
Length of Relationship:
- You can commit in advance to a time frame that can vary from one month to one year.
- A plan should be created in the event that you or your mentor would like to end the relationship earlier than anticipated.
As the mentor/mentee relationship is largely driven by the mentoring goals and objectives of the mentee, you will need to select a mentor that is willing and able to participate in the type of mentoring relationship with the structure that you feel will best help you to achieve your goals and objectives. MentorCity™ makes it easy to find the right mentor. Join today and get started.