The Importance of Mentorship: Tips for a Successful Relationship
Did you know that having a mentor can positively impact your career? In fact, 80% of CEOs have had mentors, according to an Emerging Workforce Study conducted by Management Mentors. Additionally, 35% of employees who don’t receive regular mentoring plan to look for another job within 12 months. It’s clear that more and more people and organizations are recognizing the value of mentorship.
But how can you ensure that you’re making the most out of your mentor-mentee relationship? Here are six tips to help you develop a successful relationship:
1. Create inspiring and personal role models
Mentors need to be seen as real-life role models for their mentees. They should be inspiring, but there should also be a personal connection. Research from The Westpac Women of Influence Report suggests that women look up to those they know personally and respect, with attributes like honesty, trustworthiness, good communication skills, and respect for others seen as desirable.
2. Set clear goals and expectations
Both the mentor and mentee should agree on their goals and mutual expectations from the beginning. Before seeking a mentor, figure out what you want to learn and find the right fit. As a mentee, it’s important to make clear what you want to get out of the relationship, whether it’s to secure funding, land a big client, or get a particular job. Break down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. Both parties should be aware of the objectives and agree on completion timelines. Additionally, it’s helpful to schedule meetings and discuss what the dynamic of your sessions together will look like.
3. Mutual benefit
While the primary beneficiary of the relationship should be the mentee, it’s important that both parties benefit. As a mentor, you may want to set up your own goals and have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with this relationship. It could be a chance to gain knowledge in a new area of expertise, improve coaching skills, or look for new projects to invest in.
4. Open and sincere communication
Communication is crucial in any relationship, and especially when it comes to professional mentorship. As a mentee, prepare the agenda for your meetings and take the initiative in the topics you want to cover. If a particular area needs improvement, don’t be afraid to raise it with your mentor. If you find that your meetings aren’t being productive anymore, it may be time to consider finding a new mentor. As a mentor, be honest with your mentee and offer constructive feedback.
5. Build trust
Building trust is crucial in any relationship, including mentorship. This means being there for each other and keeping each other’s best interests in mind. Trust takes time to develop, but a successful mentorship relationship requires mutual respect, honesty, and commitment.
6. Keep the relationship professional
Mentorship should be a professional relationship. While it’s important to have a personal connection, it’s equally important to maintain a level of professionalism. Do not cross the boundaries of what is appropriate and relevant to the mentorship relationship, as this could lead to conflicts, misunderstandings, or awkward situations.
In conclusion, mentorship has clear benefits for both the mentor and mentee. To make the most out of the relationship, it’s important to establish clear goals and expectations, build mutual trust and respect, and keep the relationship professional. By doing so, you can create a successful mentorship that can positively impact your career and personal development.