Mentoring- a sense of fulfillment in helping others evolve
- blog1 Oct 2020
On September 5, Teachers’ Day is celebrated in Indian schools. I recall it was the day when teachers were thanked for their service and some of us even got to pose as teachers and take over a few classes. After school the role of teaching was done by university professors and a little later in life, I had the guidance of good mentors. I value my mentors, and I am doing all I can to ensure that the people I mentor derive the same value from me.
A mentor is an individual with expertise and experience who offers guidance to a mentee (protégé) to help navigate the trials and tribulations along life’s journey. While age may seem irrelevant, generally older individuals make excellent mentors because of their level of patience, empathy and foresightedness. This is not to say that I am old and hence qualified, but age seems to have earned wisdom to share.
As an entrepreneur, it’s exciting to start a new venture and I have started quite a few. I have been fortunate to have mentors who helped me when I came at a crossroad not knowing how to go ahead.
Perhaps you have also had one or more mentor in your life; be it an elderly family friend, a professor during the college days, a boss during your first job. Over the years I have learned valuable lessons from my mentors. A mentor can guide you by helping you make sound business decisions or assisting you to foster amicable partnerships. Alternatively, over the years I have also had the opportunity to mentor freshers, hone their competencies and guide them to devise business strategies.
CorporateConnections™ is an ideal platform for both; a mentor and a mentee to connect. Younger members benefit from the wisdom of senior members while at the same time senior members get an opportunity to help junior members to tread carefully and trot faster. Senior members also benefit from the younger generation as they bring in peak levels of energy, novel ways of thinking and the infusion of technology.
I discuss some of my thoughts on the top benefits of mentoring.
Encouragement and support
A mentor who has experienced turbulent times in business is in a perfect position to lend support to an upcoming entrepreneur when things go haywire. An effective mentor challenges the mentee out of status quo and helps to keep sight of goals.
Occasionally, you can even confide your grievances to your mentor and gain moral support on sensitive matters. A great mentor counsels from a fresh perspective and offers objective advice.
Learning from mistakes
Mistakes can be costly – in terms of time, money and effort. A mentor can help a budding entrepreneur minimize the chance of repeating common mistakes. A mentor can share his or her hard-won successes and failures and retrospect on what went wrong in their own careers. This gives the mentee the benefit of these valuable lessons without having to face embarrassment or adverse consequences.
Benefit from expertise and contacts
One can draw insight from the vast experience and in-depth industry knowledge of your mentor. A mentor can also put you in touch with contacts who can help your business. These contacts can help grow your network and give your ideas a wider exposure.
The mentor-mentee relationship is built on the foundation of trust and mutual respect. Two people collaborate in a supportive environment to learn and grow. A mentor is genuinely interested in helping the mentee, without any rewards attached to it. The keys to establishing a successful mentoring relationship include open communication, learning attitude and clear roles and responsibilities.
The reward of mentoring is the sheer joy to see a seed grow into a mighty oak. Being a witness to your protégé’s rise to the pinnacle of success is happiness-infinite.
Are you mentoring someone? Do you also have an active mentor? I would like to know the experiences you have had and welcome your views on this topic.