Mentoring provides professionals with additional knowledge and support. An impactful mentoring relationship can provide employees with institutional knowledge and new skills. In addition, trainees will also benefit from the encouragement, wisdom and experienced advice of mentors. During the mentoring process, you set goals for what you want to achieve.
While you can imagine meeting all your milestones in the first month, the reality is that mentoring is a slow and gradual process. Good learners recognize this and are willing to commit to the relationship, knowing that while they see some immediate benefits, the real reward comes over years, not weeks. For example, if you're someone's business mentor, you can invite them to a local conference or have lunch with a helpful contact. This is perhaps the most beneficial advice you should follow to get the most out of a mentoring relationship.
Without a goal, you won't know how much progress you're making, and you may feel like you're not getting enough out of your relationship with the mentor. Most of us have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and the concept of “sponsors who support you on your path to sobriety”, are also a type of mentors who can offer you advice and support. As a learner, it can be tempting to ask your mentor every time a question comes up, especially if they have agreed to be available to you outside of the scheduled sessions. I think a very simple way to think about this is that a coach will be a business, so you have to pay for it, and a mentor is something free.
Not only does an established method of communication reduce confusion between you and your mentee, but studies have also demonstrated an increase in self-esteem in trainees who received regular contact with their mentors. So what is a mentor? A mentor can be anyone who has been where you would like to be physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. Many learners make the mistake of attending their sessions with the expectation that the mentor will lead the conversation. If you have suggestions on how to improve your meetings, or if there's something about the way your mentor communicates that confuses you, let them know.
Mentoring plays a key role in helping women to advance at work and move up in the company, but it is only effective if the relationship between mentor and mentee is a good combination.
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