A mentor provides a safe and supportive environment that facilitates confidence and the courage to stretch yourself and achieve more than you thought possible. Mentoring achievements often include work promotions, cross business project participation, opportunities to assume a leadership role, and improved working relationships.

I am often asked what the difference between coaching and mentoring is. While typically used interchangeably, it is important to understand that while there are similarities between the two development styles, mentoring offers something unique to coaching. While a coach provides a structure and support for you to generate results for yourself via a process of skilful questioning; mentors use their experience in a field, position or industry to provide more direct guidance and individualised support.

Mentoring is a developmental partnership where knowledge, skills, information and perspective developed over years of experience are shared to foster the personal and professional growth of another individual. You may have one constant mentor or different mentors that support you at different stages of your learning journey.

Having a mentor throughout your career is a valuable asset to your growth. Mentoring provides:

  1. Support for planning, navigating and making decisions about your career path
  2. One-on-one, regular, critical feedback to support your growth
  3. Increased self-awareness, self-discipline and commitment to personal goals
  4. Expanded vision and perspectives
  5. Extended networks and support systems
  6. Impartial and objective advice
  7. A safe space to discuss work issues and brainstorm solutions
  8. Enhanced communication and interpersonal skills
  9. A supporter to cheer you on
  10. Knowledge and skills to develop leadership

Always listen to the advice of your mentor and trust your instincts. At the end of the day, the final decision on the best solution to move forward must be your own. The decision to change can only be owned by you.

To understand more: about how to develop mentoring competencies for yourself or structured mentoring for your organisation, please email fleur@blueberryinstitute.com or call 0404 559 244, for a complimentary coffee discussion.