Mentoring takes place in many contexts. Employee mentoring programs exist to help newer employees learn from more experienced ones. Mentoring Internships usually are non-formal processes, where supervisors of interns take a few extra minutes in the day to explain to the students why they are working on projects, what skills and behaviors are necessary to function well in companies, and what skills they should obtain in school in order to advance their careers.* Ad hoc mentoring takes place whenever a younger person seeks out a role model and learns from him/her or vice-versa, an older person decides to share experiences and lessons learned with a younger person learn.
Across these realms, there are 5 attributes of great Mentors. Mentees find that they help them:
• Clarify and define short and long-term goals, and learning how to develop strategies (not just tactics) and SMART goals and benchmarks, in order to achieve them
• Learn to think outside the box when it comes to choosing a career or growing a business. Schools often reinforce conformity. Mentors can help you learn how to effectively challenge assumptions and existing practices, without creating negative backlash, and causing major disruptions
• Identify a “Trusted Advisor” with whom to discuss problems and find solutions, not just to work related issues
• Learn from the School of “Hard-knocks Experience” and not just Academia
• Gain a learning partner. Especially in today’s world of inter-relationships, a learning partner can help you navigate links related to different subject matters, emotional intelligence, and innovation.
What have your experiences been with Mentors? Share them.
* Mentor Our Kids focuses on providing Mentors with information and social support be become excellent Mentors for all these contexts!