Before delving into the importance of a strong mentor-mentee relationship, it is crucial to understand what a mentor is.
The universally accepted definition of a mentor could be someone on the lines of a guide, philosopher, friend, and even a counselor who is trusted. Of course, it goes without saying that a mentor will always have the mentee’s best interests in mind. This will be the bedrock of any relationship between mentor and mentee.
One of the earliest instances of mentors gaining mainstream acceptance took place in the annals of Greek mythology. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus, as we all know, went away from his native kingdom to fight in the earth-shattering Trojan War. Before leaving, his reliable and wise counselor Mentor was given charge of his kingdom and also Telemachus, his only son. This goes to show how mentors can offer the kind of support and reliability that people require at various stages in their lives and career.
Why is it important to have a good relationship between mentor and mentee?
A good and successful mentor-mentee relationship helps in inspiring mentees greatly while enabling them to engage in periodic reflection and introspection, based on feedback. Throughout this entire mentor relationship, they will start gaining more clarity on themselves and also gain more wisdom in tackling conflicts and other hurdles that crop up at the workplace and in life itself. Mentors will help mentees learn more about analyzing organizational and workplace aspects, industry structures, and the unwritten rules for navigating almost everything in the professional sphere.
A strong relationship between the mentor and mentee also helps immensely in building the skills of the latter in niche and specific zones, as identified through periodic discussions, introspection, and review. Mentors help people in finding their own strengths, boosting them, and also building on their weaknesses. They also offer guidance on everything from building careers or businesses to navigating professional hurdles, taking big decisions, and also addressing concerns or problems. Mentors help in analyzing goals and how they line up with your present position.
There are clearly numerous benefits to a strong and healthy relationship between mentor and mentee. Mentors may sometimes wish to give back to their own communities or help others succeed after achieving some of their life goals. They help in ensuring transparency, accountability, and objectivity in the lives of their mentees. At the same time, this beautifully collaborative procedure may help mentors learn so many new things about themselves as well. They can use this relationship to work out their own objectives once again and re-evaluate their perspectives on various aspects of life.
11 Tips on Successfully Building a Mentor Relationship
What makes a successful mentoring relationship? Here are some tips that will certainly stand you in good stead.
- Do your research thoroughly
It is crucial that you carefully choose your mentor. Make sure that you are off to a good start by viewing social media platforms and LinkedIn for gaining an idea of the overall experience and professional journey of your chosen mentor. Look up databases of companies and other sites for knowing about the number of years that they have done business or worked at leading companies, the growth that they have experienced, and their professional accomplishments/achievements. Do not only go by testimonials and references. Do your own homework to make sure that you get the right fit for your needs and your chosen career. It is vital that you work with a mentor who has been through a similar journey as yours and will know the highs and bumps along the journey.
- Open communication lines always work
Mentors should always help in setting realistic and attainable expectations for their mentees. If you know that you will not be available owing to travel or personal commitments, let your mentors know in advance. Mentees should always be honest about everything. Let mentors know what your end objectives are and what you wish to take away from this mentorship program.
- Always provide support
Mentors should encourage more participation and communication from mentees while helping them create effective action plans and strategies at the same time. Mentees should remember that mentors are always there for helping out although only as guides.
- Expectations should be clearly defined
Mentors should establish a system for tracking achievements. Mentees should review their goals and ensure that mentors know what they can expect from them.
- Contact should be clearly maintained
Mentors should always reply to emails, answer all questions and come up with resources, advice, and guidance whenever required. Mentees should be courteous and polite at all times while keeping up with their queries.
- Honesty is the best policy
Mentors should offer accurate and truthful mentee evaluations but in a tactful manner so as not to discourage them. Mentees should let mentors know if they are unable to understand or decipher any aspect or have any other opinion.
- Active participation is strongly recommended
Mentors should also keep learning throughout the program, while experimenting, asking questions, and collaborating with mentees. Mentees should listen carefully and observe the practice of mentors if possible.
- Creativity and innovation also work
Mentors should creatively offer ideas, resources, and advice while mentees should come up with new exercises and activities that can be done together.
- Knowing each other is worth it
Both mentees and mentors should invest some time and effort in knowing each other. People have different experiences and backgrounds.
- Consistency and reliability should be maintained
Both parties should maintain trust, consistency, and reliability throughout the program.
- A little positivity is the icing on the cake
Mentors should recognize the achievements and work of mentees along with appreciating their progress. Mentees should remember that mentors do not criticize but offer feedback for their own growth and wellbeing.
As can be seen, a strong and healthy mentor-mentee relationship is the backbone of a successful mentorship program. This will not only dispel doubts and anxieties but help in building an ecosystem of collaboration, success, and progress. If you’re looking for the perfect mentor, then Seekho has just the right solution for you. Check out our comprehensive list of mentors, and choose the ones that fit right to your needs.