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Mentorship can benefit both the mentee and the mentor
Mentorship can be the missing piece in the development of successful business leaders. While many business leaders go without a mentor, the advantages of working with a more experienced professional can pay off in shared knowledge and career support.
Successful mentor relationships are especially valuable when it comes to younger executives. When they have a positive role model in their mentor, they are more likely to succeed in their careers.
Mentorship helps to develop employees’ potential. Northfleet Concrete Floors and its founder and CEO, Paul Garibotti, take employee development seriously as part of their overall philosophy. Their motto is “Our strength is our people,” and this is reflected in the day-to-day activities of the company.
Garibotti explains how mentorship benefits both parties and notes how a company can enhance its success by developing strong relationships with experienced business leaders. He also gives practical tips on how to find a mentor with whom to work.
The power of mentorship
According to Stanford University, 80 percent of CEOs reported that they had a mentor. This points toward the importance of mentors for young leaders who wish to reach positions of responsibility.
Working professionals agree that mentors are important to growth, but many do not have such a relationship with an experienced leader. People who have mentors experience better performance. They advance more quickly in their careers. Their work-life balance and satisfaction are also improved.
The best mentors have a broad life experience and the ability to express themselves. They have experienced the ups and downs of leadership, and they will be able to encourage younger employees who are in difficult positions.
How to find a mentor
Before searching for a mentor, it is beneficial to define your career goals. Take the time to think about the obstacles that may stand in your way. This can give you a good idea about what kind of mentor relationship you are looking for.
Whether you need a mentor to help you achieve new skills, build your professional network, or help to give you the confidence you will need in difficult situations, you should identify how they can benefit you.
Your business network is a good place to start when looking for a mentor. Look through the people on your LinkedIn page, for example, and decide whether they would be helpful.
The process of asking for mentorship can be awkward. Don’t leap in right away and ask your potential mentor to take you on. Have a few conversations or meetings with them before you ask them to mentor you. If you overwhelm someone you don’t really know with a long email, it’s likely to be a turn-off.
Mentors enhance professional networking
An experienced mentor often has a broad professional network spanning different companies, and in some cases, different industries. Many people have multi-industry experience, and these people are especially valuable as mentors.
When you meet with your potential mentor, don’t be too forward in asking for contacts from their professional network. It is better to let the relationship develop before immediately asking for favors. A professional network can take an entire career to build, and it is understandable that many mentors will feel protective of their contacts.
Receiving advice and reassurance
One of the main reasons why younger employees want a mentor relationship is that they need someone to advise them in difficult situations. They also need someone to tell them whether they are making mistakes, or whether the problem they have encountered is not their fault. In this case, the mentor will offer experience that may help the mentee work through their problem and make sure that it is fixed.
Going beyond career advancement
The best mentors are able to go beyond career advancement and delve into areas that are more personal in nature. They can help a mentee explore their relationships with colleagues, how their values inform their daily activities, and even how they are dealing with issues outside the workplace like parenting. Other mentors excel at recommending a better sense of work-life balance, ensuring that their charges will be refreshed and ready to tackle life’s challenges.
Mentoring helps mentors as well
Mentoring may seem like a one-sided activity, but experienced mentors know the truth behind the saying that “teaching is learning twice.” By going through someone else’s difficulties, they may be able to gain insight into their own career.
Mentorship also helps more experienced employees with up-to-date knowledge about the business world. Just as mentors help to build their mentees’ contact networks, they can be helped in return by expanding their contacts into new companies and new industries.
Benefiting from mentors' experience
The value of a mentor’s life and work experience cannot be overstated. When a younger professional has the opportunity to learn from someone with a mature perspective, they can learn from their mistakes and find ways to become more successful.
A mentor relationship benefits both parties, and experienced business professionals who have been approached should think about how the relationship could enhance their lives as well.
Northfleet Concrete Floors practices mentorship in its daily course of work and its less experienced employees are able to learn from those who have rich backgrounds. Paul Garibotti takes mentorship seriously as part of his company motto, “Our strength is our people.” By supporting the growth of individual employees, the company can grow stronger.