What is a Mentor
A person who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviours. An effective mentor understands that his/her role is to be dependable, engaged, authentic and tuned into the needs of the mentee. A mentor may share with a mentee information about his/her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support and role modeling. They may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts and identifying resources.
Questions a good mentor should ask themselves:
- What are my strengths as a mentor?
- What are my challenges as a mentor?
- In what ways can I compensate for my mentoring weaknesses?
Qualities of a Good Mentor
- Good listener
- Has value diversity of perspectives
- Is knowledgeable
- Is non judgmental
- Is able to give constructive feedback
- Is honest and candid
- Is able to network and find resources
- Is successful in area of mentorship
- Is willing or able to devote time to developing others
- Is eager to learn.
One may be wondering but why discuss this mentorship topic when they are making it on this solo ride. You never know maybe in your solo ride you have been engaging these mentors and here are some of the main roles of a Mentor;
- Teacher: a mentor teaches technical skills unique to their given field.
- Sponsor: a mentor introduces a mentee to a new social world
- Advisor: a mentor is a counselor who assists the mentee with reality check to help refine ideas and gain clarity of thought. Mentors gives help in becoming a better navigator.
- Agent: a mentor removes obstacles after the mentee has made convincing attempts.
- Role model: one the mentee can emulate their approach to certain areas.
- Coach: motivates the player to win, knows when to offer encouragement, when to pause and break and when to push for action while tolerating inaction.
- Confidante: someone the mentee can talk to knowing the discussions are kept in strict confidence. It’s a two way relation based on trust.
Mentoring relationships are dynamic personal and fluid and they should suit your needs and change as needed over time.
There are three types of mentoring:
- Traditional one on one; where mentor and mentee are matched either through a program or on their own.
- Distance; mentoring relation in which the two parties or group are in different locations.
- Group; a single mentor is matched with a cohort of mentees
Here are some of the Types of Mentors you may consider having:
- Traditional~ this is an older or more senior individual within your area of business who has more experience than you in a certain area.
- Reverse mentor~ this is a younger, less senior person in the area who has more experience in your area of interest and you want to learn about.
- Peer mentor~ this is a coworker or friend who holds a similar position or level of understanding as yours and they often encounter comparable types of work issues or situations as you do.
- Aspirational mentor~ this is someone you can look to for Inspiration.
- Practical mentor~ someone you might seek when you need real world take on how to approach a problem or situation.
- Coping/Emotional mentor~ someone who can help you develop ways to relieve stress or find ways to cope with difficult issues or situations. They are great listeners and offer pragmatic advice that you can implement.
- Identity mentor~ someone you look to because you either fall onto a certain group eg female or mother or because you want to learn more about a certain identity group. They help you learn more about yourself as you fit within that community.
- Spiritual mentor~ they offer spiritual guidance to walk through different aspects of life. They offer assistance in using the word to solve different situations as they occur in your life. Spiritual growth is their main mandate.
It is advised to get a mentor for each area of your life for having many mentors is not a weakness but a sign of clearly set and defined goals and schedules.
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