What will you do, when you want to visit a place that you have never visited till now? You are right, you will research about that place using the internet, or speak a person who has been there, etc. After which you may consider including those inputs in your planning. Mentorship is no different than that. Read along to know why mentorship is important and what role it can play in our lives.
When you want to professionally or personally visit a significant milestone, you take advice, inputs, feedback, direction, and whatnot, from people who have been there and done that. In simple words, it is a mentorship that is key to enabling success in either personal and/or professional life. An effective mentor can not only help you learn essential life, and work skills but can also strengthen your grit and confidence.
Mentoring is typically a relationship where an experienced person, the mentor provides guidance and advice to a less experienced, the mentee. A well-structured mentoring program helps with a safe and trusting environment, where a mentee can gain the knowledge, skill, and attitude that are necessary to accomplish one’s aspirations/goals.
Why mentorship is important and what mentoring provides?
Why mentorship is important?
Effective mentoring provide emotional and moral support to a mentee. The true journey of development and improvement can only begin from your true starting point. Please note the word, ‘true starting point’. What does that mean? The true starting point for any developmental journey is the true assessment of your current knowledge, skill, and attitude. It requires humility and courage to accept one’s current reality. The journey can only begin from where you ‘currently are’ and not from where you ‘think you currently are’.
What mentoring provides?
We are so much conditioned by the world around us, that we have become experts when it comes to hide, defend, and justify our shortcomings. This means that we are always on guard, and wear a mask that is valued by the world around us and also successfully hides the ones we lack. This ‘being on guard’ has gotten into us so much so that we actually are not sufficiently self-aware. Mentor, acting as a non-judgmental sounding board helps the mentee get off guard and truly meet oneself. This helps him reach his true starting point. This is why mentorship is important and can change your life for the best.
As a mentor one gets to accompany the mentee during the entire process, the relation can certainly become closer and turn into a personal friendship. However, it is important to remember and stick to the purpose of mentorship, which is the guided development of skills, knowledge, and attitude. The mentee can use these to succeed in the chosen field.
Now let us understand – Who is your mentor? And how to identify the one that would suit you?
If your aspiration matches with someone’s accomplishment, then he/she could be your potential mentor. However, you may want to consider the following factors before entering into a mentorship:
1. Been there and done that:
While everyone in this world can be a potential mentor, choosing the right one is paramount to save your time and efforts. If you want to be a great designer then, an accomplished designer would be your potential mentor. If you want to be an attorney then an accomplished attorney, and so on. Essentially you need to choose someone who has already accomplished what you are still aspiring for. Because that person has already been there and done that, he/she is capable of helping you thread through the same path.
2. Backgrounds are similar:
While the first point is to choose someone who’s already been there and done that, as already mentioned above, it is also important to choose someone who shares a similar background as that of yours. The reason for this is, it is easy for this mentor to understand your situation and realities better than anyone else. Once the mentor has a fairly clear estimation of your context, then you have a high chance of receiving custom and workable advice, guidance, and directions. More so this advice and directions are nothing but the mentor’s narrative of his/her own journey from point A to point B. Where A is the starting point and B is your aspiration.
3. Narrator and a helper:
It is important to choose someone who likes to help you succeed and one who is willing to share his success story. Not everyone who has accomplished what you are aspiring for needs to be helpful nor a good narrator. Narrations help you identify with the character and mentally go through the journey. As one great person said ‘everything is created twice, first in mind, and then in reality’. The narrations help you create and reach your goal in the mind (first creation), then by following the guidance meticulously, you will with time arrive at your goal in the reality (second creation).
4. Accessible and approachable:
It is important to choose someone that you can reach out on a regular/frequent basis. No point in choosing a famous and popular person who is too busy for you. The temptation, in general, is to associate with famous people. While it may feel good to say ‘I am being mentored by such and such famous person’, the true mentoring happens only when you get to interact with that person. Hence it is important to find a capable person who has time for you and who can be happy guiding you to success.
5. Regard and respect:
We know that electrons, water, or anything in this creation moves from a higher potential to a lower potential, and knowledge has no exception. Because knowledge also moves from a higher potential to lower potential, it is important to choose a mentor whom you can regard and respect.
You can only benefit from the knowledge that is shared by a person whom you regard and respect. On the other hand, you must have noticed that the same knowledge often falling on deaf ears when shared by a person whom you do not regard or respect. ‘Who’ said it matters more than ‘what’ is said. Hence it is paramount to choose a person as a mentor whom you can respect and regard so you can understand the in and out of Why mentorship is important?
I hope these factors help you in choosing the right mentor. Please share your views or questions in the comment box below.
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