The life-changing power of a good mentoring relationship

By Jan Murray on Friday 13th December 2019

With 2020 rapidly approaching many of us are starting to think about resolutions for the New Year. We probably made resolutions last year, possibly the same ones we are going to make this year, but somehow by the end of January we became overloaded with the demands of every-day life and the resolutions fell by the wayside.

Having a mentor could mean the difference between finally achieving resolutions and them falling by the wayside for another year. By entering a mentoring relationship a mentee will be encouraged to set time aside to work with their mentor to work on developing themselves; analysing where they currently are, identifying strengths and opportunities that can be built on, overcoming weaknesses and threats, setting clear goals and planning a route to achieve those goals.

In fact, studies have shown that having a mentor gives a 20% higher chance of getting promoted and three out of four employees said mentoring had helped their career development.

The right mentor can change the mentees life. Having an experienced, trusted supporter to give valuable advice and help realise career, business or life goals is invaluable. Mentors have guided some of the world's most influential people - Bill Gates had Warren Buffet as a mentor, Tina Turner mentored Mick Jagger, Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs and Sir Richard Branson had Sir Freddie Laker.

Mentoring is all about the transfer of knowledge, experience and skills. The goal of the mentor is to help the mentee realise maximum potential in their career, business or life in general.

A Great Mentor:

  • Listens to the mentee's plans, goals challenges and acts as a sounding board
  • Provides respectful input and constructive criticism on the mentee's aspirations, decision-making process and behaviour
  • Is a source of encouragement and support during difficult times and setbacks
  • Encourages independent decision making
  • Challenges the mentee to push beyond their comfort zone
  • Facilitates connections and career opportunities for the mentee through networking and access to resources
  • Shares experiences and will offer specific advice

Mentoring isn't a one-way street with just the mentee benefitting, becoming a mentor can be a valuable experience for the mentor to:

  • Connect with the next generation. While junior associates may not be as experienced, what they may possess is connectivity to the 'new' and the 'next.' Through the mentoring role, the mentor will not only be passing on the knowledge they have gained along their journey, they will also learn from a generation connected in very different ways.
  • Be seen as a thought leader. The act of being a mentor instils confidence. Whether engaging through the workplace or through an external organisation, adding a mentoring role to a CV will reinforce the mentor's thought leadership and subject matter expertise status.
  • Cultivate your management skill-set. Learning how to communicate, engage, and teach diverse individuals will only improve the mentors relevance in the workplace.

Mentorship takes commitment but the results for both the mentor and the mentee can be life-changing. Make 2020 the year that you help your employees, members or students to achieve their New Year resolutions – with the help of a mentoring programme.

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