Introduction to mentorship
What can having a mentor do for your personal growth and development? In a nutshell- lots! Having a mentor can become the game changer in helping you take control of your goals and propelling them to the next level. A lot of people think that mentoring is for people who are struggling or who have not had many successes but that is false. Some of the most successful people such as Mark Zuckerberg, who was mentored by Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey who was mentored by Maya Angelou all have or have had mentors. Both of these highly successful people recognized the importance of having someone to guide them through their life and careers to become even more successful. According to the article: Mentoring Statistics: The Research you need to know 97% of people with a mentor found mentorship to be very valuable. The article also dives into the correlation between mentoring as a means to better career development. A good mentor can do wonders for helping you to advance through life by avoiding some critical mistakes along the way. A good mentor has made those mistakes and will teach you how to avoid making them yourself. Keep reading to find out the 10 top reasons mentorships are important. How can you use them as a game changer in your life and advance your goals faster?
Let's Define Mentorship
Before we dive into the reasons why mentorships are important. It is first important to understand what mentorship is. The Merriam Webster defines mentorship as "the influence, guidance, or direction given by a mentor." Further to that, mentorship involves a mentor and a mentee! One person who guides(the mentor) and one person who takes and applies what the mentor says to do(mentee).
What is a good mentor?
Here are 6 characteristics of a good mentor.
A good mentor listens more than they talk. They actively take the time to listen to you and get to know you and your goals.
A good mentor is a great motivator. They understand that motivating you when you need it the most is important to helping you advance your goals. They are right there with you through the highs and the inevitable lows.
Provide honest feedback
If you are really looking to be successful, you need someone who can provide you with honest feedback. A good mentor will provide you feedback in a constructive way allowing you to make changes with tangible items you can work on. If you are looking for someone to tell you what you want to hear, then you are looking for a "yes man" not a mentor.
In mentorship, you can't have the blind leading the blind. A solid mentor has great insights and is an expert in what they are mentoring you in. You need to find a mentor who knows what they are talking about and can back it up with great insight and expertise.
Look for a mentor who is willing to meet you where you are in life. Someone who will not scold you for your mistakes but will listen to you and give you advice without judgment or making you feel worse about your situation. They reserve judgment and instead allow you to take your mistakes and use them as great life lessons.
Look for a mentor who can help you reach your goals from several different angles. They don't just offer up a "one size fits all" approach but come with a toolbox or ideas and suggestions that will adapt to your doing and learning.
What makes a good mentee?
As mentioned earlier, in a mentorship relationship, there is the mentor and the mentee. In order for mentorship advice to work, the mentee must also do their part. Here are 5 characteristics of a person ready to be mentored.
You are open to feedback
In order for you to be mentored, you have to have an openness to feedback. You can't get on the defensive and think automatically that this person does not know what they are talking about, so I don't have to listen. Stop doing that and instead do this: start with a true openness that is inviting and willing to take feedback and constructive criticism.
You are consistent
If you have a good mentor and they are giving you great advice and teaching you new things. Then be willing to consistently apply the knowledge they are imparting on you on a regular basis. There is nothing more frustrating to a mentor than having someone who won't show up and ready to put in the work on a regular basis. Be consistent!
You don't waste time
Time wasters are one of the biggest pet peeves to a mentor. Why? Because taking the time to teach someone something new and valuable, only to have them drag their feet without implementing your guidance is a big no no. If you enjoy wasting time, then you are not ready for mentorship.
You are goal oriented
If you are not into creating goals, especially SMART(specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) Goals, then you are not ready for mentorship. Not setting goals is like going halfway up a mountain, only to quit and go back down. When you create SMART goals, a good mentor will help you to perfect the art of goal execution. They will help you to put plans in place where your goals are more successful. Read our article: How to create a personal playbook for 2023 to help you navigate good examples of SMART goals.
You are ready for change
If you have all of the previous four characteristics you are a good mentee, then you are ready for change. A quality that is highly important when securing a mentorship relationship. Having a readiness for change is also a great way to demonstrate that you are ready to be guided and ready to take the necessary steps to become more successful.
Why is mentorship important?
Now that we have established what makes a good mentor and what makes a good mentee. Here are the 10 top reasons why mentorship is important and will take your life and goals from one stage to another.
Mentorship speeds things up
Having a good mentor will help to speed up what you are trying to accomplish. The key is to listen and follow carefully what your mentor is teaching you and follow their advice especially when they give you corrections for adjustments. Speed will come from them having done what you are trying to do before you.
Mentorship Enhances your network
A good mentor will help you to open up your network to newer people and more experiences. They could also introduce you to their well established network and help again to speed up your goals. So when your mentor says to follow them to a meet and greet, you should probably go and get introduced to the right people.
Mentorship helps create balance
A good mentor will help you achieve personal balance. They will help you to create a work/life balance that is consistent with your goals. They can show you through their own lives how to balance the demands of work and your personal life. For example, if you are a working mom, you might look for a mentor who is also a working mom. Someone who can show you how to deal with the demands of motherhood and also the demands of a successful career.
Mentorship is empowering
Empowerment should always be the end result of mentoring. Just because mentorship should allow you to come into your own skin and eventually feel like you can continue to make wiser decisions. It should also empower you to see yourself as a future mentor. Paying it forward mentorship is highly rewarding and a good mentor will help you to eventually see yourself as a mentor to someone else.
Mentorship encourages strong values
Just like in partnerships or relationships, mentorship should also encourage strong values. Both within the individual being mentored and also within the mentorship relationship. We always encourage naming your values and show you how to do this in our course: Learn how your values are impacting your goals. It is always a good idea to have a good understanding of what you believe first before finding a mentor. Which in turn will allow you to know if your mentor has the same values as you. This will help to nurture and develop the mentorship relationship.
Mentorship fosters an empathetic relationship
If your mentor can't be empathetic to what you are going through, then they are most likely not the right mentor for you. As a caution, don't look for someone who will tell you what you want to hear. But rather someone who can relate to where you are now because they have been there and can better mentor you because of their empathy.
Mentorship makes you accountable
Pursuant to our previous point, mentorship is not about telling you what you want to hear. A good mentor will and should call you out on your shortcomings and help you to stay accountable. When creating goals, accountability is supreme because without it your goals become a hollow dream. Here are 5 ways to make yourself accountable after setting goals.
Mentorship is having a built-in cheerleader
Imagine having someone cheering you on and really believing in you. A good mentor is your biggest cheerleader. They truly believe in you and want you to succeed. They are always there letting you know that you can achieve your goals. It is truly motivating and you will appreciate your mentor cheerleader especially on the rough days.
Mentorship will save you money too
Since your mentor is someone experienced and has made mistakes before, their job is to steer you in the right direction so that you don't make the same costly mistakes. For example, they can advise you on which courses you should take to accomplish your career goals. And which courses were not a benefit to them. This valuable advice will only serve to save you money and allow you to really focus on what will help you become more successful faster.
Mentorship encourages wisdom
All roads should lead to wisdom in our book. A good mentor will always encourage you to learn more things. Whether it is through recommending a great self-help book for you or encouraging you to sign up for a strategic course. Mentorship encourages wisdom as the necessity to greater goal achievement. All good mentors are students of life. They never stop learning and you should not stop learning either.
Mentorship is a game changer for helping you achieve your goals in 2023. It is not just for people who are struggling but an essential part of growth and development for anyone.
A good mentor will have the following qualities:
- Great listener
- Great motivator
- Provides honest feedback
- Highly resourceful
- Very insightful
- Non Judgemental
To be a good mentee, you should have the following characteristics:
- You are open to honest feedback
- You value consistency
- You don't like to waste time
- You are goal oriented
- You are ready for change
Marry the above qualities together to create a mentorship relationship will provide the following benefits:
Acceleration of your goals- reach your peak faster
Enhancement your network- get to know new people and open up your circle
Helps create more life balance- achieve work life balance
Creates better empowerment- come into your own skin and be confident
Encourages strong values- name your value and align them with your mentor and goals
Fosters empathy- Your mentor should relate to you but not tell you what you want to hear
Increases accountability- Calls you out on your actions and helps you become more accountable
Creates a built- in cheerleader- Someone who actively cheers you on.
Saves you money- Avoid costly mistakes by learning from your mentor
Encourages wisdom- Active encouragement to gain more knowledge
With all of the above, if you were thinking of getting a mentor in 2023, it is not too late to start. Your mentor awaits you.
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