Often people hesitate when asked to be a mentor for fear of not having the relevant experience or possessing all the answers to the questions a mentoree might ask. The role of mentor has evolved significantly from the ancient days of the wise old sage or the traditional workplace hierarchical seniority structure. Mentoring is now more accurately defined as a developmental partnership where one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective, to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else.

Mentoring is about supporting learning rather than teaching, with both mentors and those mentored learning and growing from the experience. Great mentors are now coming from positions, departments and industries that are quite different to their mentorees. Consistently mentors are reporting the following positive experiences from mentoring:

  1. The personal satisfaction in developing another person
  2. Making a contribution and being able to ‘give back’ to the organisation by sharing their skills, experience and abilities
  3. Being able to practice their coaching and mentoring skills in goal setting, questioning, listening, problem-solving in a safe and supportive partnership
  4. Expanding their own networks and breaking down functional silos
  5. Broadening their perspective and deepening their understanding of another business area
  6. Public recognition and acknowledgment of their experience
  7. Improving communication and feedback skills
  8. A greater appreciation for the views, alternative perspectives and contribution of others
  9. The opportunity to develop their own people management and leadership skills

The key to a successful and fulfilling mentoring relationship is not about having all the answers. It is about working together to set meaningful goals, clearly defining roles and expectations between mentor and mentoree, using learning frameworks to guide a developmental conversation, and having fun along the way.

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.