The Value of Mentorship: Collaboration is Key to Success
While an individual may learn a great deal on their own, having a mentor is a truly invaluable asset.
For one thing, this type of relationship offers a more in-depth, one-on-one opportunity to learn about a new role. A new hire can read a litany of guidelines and resource materials, but a mentor brings the words to life; they convey exactly how things are put into practice, and provide insight on how to succeed.
Not only will mentors help individuals grow, but the process allows them an opportunity to further develop their own talent.
Not all mentoring pursuits inspire the desired results. If one party is not overly enthusiastic about the role, then the program will likely fail. For example, if a manager imposes mentorship on an employee that has a lackadaisical view of the undertaking, there is little hope for success. In this case, the mentor may resent his or her understudy, and find the process
tiring. Much like a leader, the mentor should feel energized by experience; they should feel they are developing by imparting wisdom.
In addition, a mentor must possess the ability to be vulnerable and open. If they can’t, then they lack the ability to gain trust with the mentee. Everyone makes mistakes and allowing others to see how they recovered, and what they learned, is a strength. Furthermore, it assures a new employee that they can achieve the goals laid out ahead of them. New hires are often intimidated, and they may view mentors as having reached an unattainable position. An honest account of growth that includes everything from shortcomings to success and doubt to confidence, instills a sense of hope.
The Role of the Mentees
In a similar way, mentees that undervalue the opportunity are unlikely to succeed as a result of the relationship. Even the most motivated teacher will find it impossible to reach some students.
As such, these individuals must rise to the occasion; they must actively participate in the pursuit of knowledge with open, eager minds. Simply sitting beside their mentor won’t enlighten them. In order for this program to work, they need to ask questions, both of the mentors and of themselves. In fact, they should do the lion’s share of the talking.
A mentor will also need to know a mentee’s unique learning process. That is, they’ll need to understand exactly what will make the job a challenge for them, and what will come easily. With these clarifications, mentors may provide an ideal roadmap for their mentee’s unique journey.
What’s more, they are able to prepare them for times where they may feel especially drained, as well as what to do when these circumstances arise.