Nowadays, the current business world we love and live in, is ran by outstanding entrepreneurs who know that having a mentor will only promote their career and help their company get one step closer to success.
From time to time, each and every business owner will need someone to consult with, a person to ask advice or feedback from, or even someone who will question their judgment and steer them clear of danger.
During my tenure in the business world I’ve met a lot of successful people. And when I asked them how they got where they were, most of them replied that they had at least one mentor who helped them out along the way. Regardless if you are on the receiving or offering end of an investment of energy, advice and let’s not forget time, it’s mandatory to see mentoring for what it actually is: a priceless gift.
So, whether you are looking to become an outstanding mentor or find a great one who will help you reach the next level, here’s what you need to know about mentoring relationships.
If you’re looking to enter a mentoring relationship for the praise, be prepared to not receive/offer it given the fact that it does not necessarily have to be part of the deal. When entrepreneurs are asked why they are seeking a mentor, they usually respond that they do so because they want attention rather than constructive feedback that could help them with their professional and personal growth.
Take for example some of the greatest entrepreneurs, athletes or investors of our time. They either had outstanding mentors or eagerly accepted coaching. Their self-awareness, curiosity and drive to constantly be better determined them to look for people who are able to help them do that.
Silence leads to failure. Great mentors will constantly look to help mentees grow via honest conversations which may be difficult to have. When a mentor decides to pass along knowledge and constructive feedback to managers, they do this so as to avoid mentees from being taken by surprise when it’s time to evaluate their performance levels. Actually, a significant number of people are surprised when mentors evaluate their performance levels.
The mentee must be able to endure candid feedback. When people go into their mentors’ office, they look for feedback or advice. And while the feedback or the advice you have to offer will not be what the mentee wants to hear, you, as a mentor, need to tell them the truth, whether it’s good or bad. Mentors act this way in the best interest of their mentee, but the mentor also needs to make sure that the latter is able to withstand what he or she has to say.
A mentoring relationship is all about actively listening and empathy. The relationship aspect of the mentor-mentee relationship is what determines it to work at optimum levels. However, when this relationship becomes obligatory, the benefits for both individuals will quickly vanish. Mentoring relationships tend to dissipate over time because most mentees perceive it as a check-the-box exercise.
The mentor should be a person the mentee admires and wants to emulate. Forging a relationship with a person just because of his/her notoriety or for political reasons is the worst idea possible. If you can’t really find a wise person you admire in your life, you should probably start hanging out at networking or industry events and try to widen your pool of associations. Also, you shouldn’t disregard trying to use LinkedIn and try to garner as many introductions as possible.