Mentorship programs are gaining popularity at companies to create better engagement, career planning, company loyalty and retention of stronger, top notch work teams. Some companies take great pride in a formal program where employees are either recommended for inclusion or fill out an application. These mentorship programs continue to develop by staying current, flexible, and attracting high participation.
When you interview you may want to ask if they have mentorship program and hear how it’s handled. The company may have a team that carefully matches the best suited relationships of mentor and mentee. If you can select your own mentor, you may want to consider one from outside your department to gain a different viewpoint or approach to doing things.
What makes mentorship successful?
- Self-Awareness for both mentee and mentor
- Mentorship is a 2-way learning experience. That’s right both of you have unique experiences no matter how many years you’ve been working.
- Both need to give and receive to make the relationship valuable
- Trust needs to be built for honesty and comfortability in sharing with each other
- The Mentor needs to share the good, bad, and ugly of their career experiences
- The Mentee should be comfortable asking any question, listening to new points of view and hearing what is said during praise or criticism.
- Listen with gratitude remembering you are being gifted their time and wisdom because your mentor wants to help you grow in your career path and support you.
- Get to know each other as people sharing things to find what you have in common and enjoy.
- This will add to your understanding of each other and may strengthen the relationship beyond business. Wouldn’t you like to stay in touch long past the mentorship?
- Effective Communication
- Stay committed to the meetings scheduled and plan to make them productive
- You may want to send a topic and question before the meeting
- Most mentors will research or call other colleagues if they don’t know the answer to your question or even get you in touch with an expert in that area.
- Discuss your long term goals, the knowledge gaps you feel you have about the company, profession, or growth opportunities. Likewise what are mentor’s goals and learning opportunities?
Bonus: To get the most value from being mentored, I suggest you end each meeting with the best golden nugget you learned and will immediately incorporate in your work.
Mentors appreciate hearing thank you and sharing in news of your successes.
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” ~ John C. Maxwell, Leadership Gold
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