We are living in a Goal Oriented world where everyone is working towards some goal/s. It can include professional goals like working towards promotion, role change or company change. It can also include personal goals like getting financially stable, improving health..etc. If you need help achieving your goals, you will often hear “You should get a Mentor”. Lets see what exactly is a Mentor.
What is a Mentor?
A Mentor is an experienced individual who has been in your role or has experience working with people in your role.
It can be someone in your company, or someone from your professional network. They are 1 or 2 levels above your current level. They can effectively navigate you because they have experience understanding the challenges that you are facing in your current role. Their role is to guide you to reach the next level.
Generally, the mentee (the person looking for mentorship) and the mentor meet on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly cadence where they track the progress of the mentees goals. This is the mentees safe space to openly talk about their challenges, roadblocks or run the mentor by any new ideas they might have without having the fear of being judged. The mentor uses this time give feedback on the mentees progress and suggests how they can improvements. In a lot of cases the mentor does provide action items or homework to help the mentee hone their skills.
Tips to get the best out of your mentorship –
You should have 1 mentor to help you with each goal/discipline you are working towards. It is totally fine to have more than one mentor.
You might have one mentor to help you with promotion, one to help you build your technical dept, one to help you with business acumen…etc. Based on your goals, ensure that you find a mentor who has expertise in the domain that you are seeking guidance. It is important to talk about what outcome/goals you are working towards and expectations do you have from your mentor.
You should generally choose someone who is not in your team or a part of the extended team.
Ideally, your mentor should be in the same organization/company but in a very different team. This will ensure that there is no conflict of interest and they can give you unbiased feedback. Another advantage of having a mentor in the same organization is they are well acquainted with the professional culture, and the environment. This makes it easy for them to resonate with the challenges you might be facing and lining out resources that might help you.
Go to your meetings prepared with a list of questions/ items you would like to discuss.
This will allow you to get the best out of for 30 minutes or one hour meeting you set up with your mentor. It is good practice to send your mentor a list if items you intend to discuss during your meetings so they can be prepared with those specific topics in advance. It will enable you to make the best use of everyone’s time.
If you think that you have learnt enough to mentor others, please do!
It is empowering to navigate others who are in the same shoes as you were few years ago. Every mentorship not only teaches the mentee but also teaches the mentor something. You get to chance to change someone’s life in a positive manner and this can feel immensely rewarding.
Hope these tips help you get the best out of your mentee mentor relationship and help you succeed in every goal you plan for. Let me know you thoughts in the feedback section below.