Finding a mentor that suits you
Finding a mentor that suits you
We all agree on the fact that mentors play vital roles in our career journeys regardless of the levels or phases we are placed in. Mentors help us in different ways by advising and directing us on the correct paths. Maintaining healthy mentor relationships have the ability to improve workplace productivity, satisfaction, and most importantly increase motivation by dosing the needed encouragement. In simple words, mentors are cheerleaders and guardian angels in workplaces. Let’s discuss a few valuable tips that will help you understand what mentorship is, how to identify mentors that will help you and how to approach a mentor further below.
What is mentorship?
Mentorship can be defined as a professional or an academic relationship between two people. technically, in between a subject matter expert and a person with intentions of developing subject expertise. These kinds of relationships are known to be beneficial for both parties involved. The mentor gets the benefit of improving their expertise by teaching and leading juniors in the fields, and the mentee gets to grasp more knowledge with personal experience. Additionally, mentorships are known to be valuable relationships that possess the power to turn visions into realities.
Identifying mentors around you
You might be able to notice quite a lot of individuals who are peers at your work or your university, that have more knowledge and experience about a particular domain. Out of these people, you have to pick and choose the ideal fit that will work well with your expectations. A few qualities of a good mentor are being able to listen well by paying attention, great communication skills, passion towards teaching and inspiring someone to grow, having an empathetic nature, possessing the will to encourage other people and point them in the correct directions, and being an available helping hand for those who are in need.
Review your expectations
When you are in the process of finding a mentor for yourself, you need to clearly define your expectations and figure out what you exactly need from this relationship. List down a couple of coals so that you can link that to an action plan. You can be looking to expand your knowledge to a whole new area you have not tapped before; in an instance like this, you must find a mentor that is well experienced in that area, clearly emphasizing your current level of knowledge about the domain and where you wish to head. Likewise, if you are looking to clear out doubts in your current work role with the intention of improving work performance, you should look for a senior peer who is well experienced in the domain and explain to your peer about the doubt or blockage you are facing. Similarly, the situation can be where you are awaiting promotion for a new role and you feel a bit insecure about the knowledge you have will not be enough; you can consider approaching a colleague who is currently engaged in a similar role where you can get the additional information you need to feel safe. Once the mentor has a clear idea of what your expectation is and where you exactly wish to reach by approaching them, they will be able to help you precisely.
Choosing the right mentor
The mentor you choose does not have to be holding a senior post at your workplace. If the mentor you have selected is already with a few years of experience in the field and has the knowledge to teach and clear your doubts, this would be a potential mentor that might work for you. Moreover, the person you choose should be comfortable attending to your questions as you ask; likewise, you must feel comfortable to reach out to the selected mentor without hesitation when you are in doubt. The fact of being available is another important point to be considered. The mentor-mentee relationship would be ideal if you can select a mentor who has a schedule that works well with yours. By doing so, you might be able to worry less about working around schedules to communicate.
How it works
Mentorships can be worked in countless ways. Once you clearly define your expectations, probably the mentor would be able to suggest a path on how to proceed. However, the 3Cs principle is one of the best approaches recommended and practiced by when it comes to mentoring programs. The abbreviation stands for Clarity, organizations Communication, and Commitment. Clarity is focused on key areas such as clarity of purpose, clarity of understanding, and clarity of skills involved in the mentorship. The second element, communication emphasizes the strong communication strategy that should be practiced throughout the mentorship. Lastly, commitment signifies the required commitment from both parties’ mentor and mentee in order to have a successful mentor-mentee relationship.
Valuing feedback and showing gratitude
Once you have approached a mentor and you are progressing with the mentor-mentee relationship, there are a couple of noteworthy points that require your special attention. As explained above, effective communication makes bonds stronger and long-lasting. Likewise, as the mentee, you should pay extra attention to following steps that your mentor recommends. Moreover, a clear demonstration is required to confirm that the provided feedback is being incorporated at all times. Similarly, another important fact would be to show enough gratitude for the feedback you receive.
Mentoring is a two-way process where both the mentor and mentee can benefit from the relationship if engaged efficiently. Down the line, you might even get the chance to mentor a junior where you can share all your valuable knowledge and subject expertise. Mentorships are elements of life changers; this is a fact that we all can agree on without any doubts. This valuable relationship acts as a core pillar in passing down knowledge to people who are desired to learn and grow. Now that you have gained enough information about mentorship, it is high time for you to find one if you have not tried it yet.