This article sheds light on role of mentor and importance of having a mentor, leader, and guide for professional development.
Sanket: Hey Ankit! Why are you looking so tensed?
Ankit: Hey! So, I have been thinking whether to continue or start looking for a new one.
Sanket: Why you want to look for a new job? Aren’t you happy with your work profile or your pay?
Ankit: No, none of them. I enjoy my work, and the pay is good as well. It is just that I have been working here for three years. And people say that I should change for better growth.
Sanket: Listen Ankit very carefully! Whether you need to change your job should not depend on how many years you have spent in a company. People say a lot of things, but it is not necessary that we listen to everything.
Ankit: But then for growth?
Sanket: As far as you have told me you are getting to do a lot of different tasks in your current profile and you are handling them well. So, isn’t that a sign that your career growth is in the right direction?
Ankit: Yes, that is true. I never thought it that way. Thanks a lot for always being there. You have been a mentor for me in the real sense.
Just like Ankit, we all must understand role of mentor while taking major decisions in our career path. Some people turn to the internet to seek advice, while few enlist the help of a mentor. Yes, having a mentor to guide you on your career path is extremely helpful.
The role of a mentor in the life of a mentee is to give him realistic and unbiased advice to help him become successful. Irrespective of the industry, mentorship helps you through the highs and lows of your career.
What is the significant part of having a mentor? Well, most likely they have been through a similar experience and can give you another point of view to consider. A great mentor helps you to get out of your comfort zone, and that is where the real growth occurs, personally and professionally. As the adage goes, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
So, why you need a mentor? A mentor is a person who has the knowledge or experience you seek. He can help in your current role or advice you with future opportunities. It could be anyone whom you admire for the job they are doing or the way they balance their life or the position they hold.
Following are some of the most critical roles a mentor plays in one’s life:
Adviser / Counsellor
The role requires them to encourage self-development in mentee by helping them to think about and reflect on their practice. Here, a mentor also offers advice and support to the mentee about developing their social contacts, their career and building networks. As a mentor, a person should assess and consider the mentee’s capabilities and limitations.
A mentor plays the role of a role model in mentee’s life. He or she provides them with a visible image for imitation, demonstrating qualities and skills to emulate. The role of a positive model is highly significant and cannot be overestimated.
A mentor is also a coach, and they not only provide their mentee with constructive feedback to help them improve but also promotes a flexible approach to accepting feedback.
Helping the mentee in critically analysing and solving problems, a mentor also helps in developing the abilities like critical thinking, decision making and problem-solving skills.
While playing the role of a teacher, they share their experience and knowledge with the mentee. A mentor identifies the mentee’s individual needs and style, and accordingly provides an encouraging learning environment to maximise learning,
Being a supporter, a mentor offers his or her mentee with professional and moral support, as and when required. That enables the mentee to develop professionally and personally.
A mentor is also a guide for his or her mentee. They introduce you to power groups and contacts that can help you grow.
So, the effective implementation of mentorship is challenging. To be a successful mentor one should be able to and willing to –
- Value the mentee as a person
- Maintain confidentiality
- Focus on the mentee’s development and resist the urge to produce a clone
- Develop mutual trust and respect
- Listen to what is being said
- Observe how it is being said
- Rather than giving directions, help the mentee solve his/her problem(s)
As a person, no matter where you are in your personal life or your career, the guidance of a mentor is priceless.