August 20, 2021 | 3-minute read (578 words)
Would you look into a free program that may directly impact the development and survival of your company? If you responded "yes" to that question, you might want to think about becoming a mentor.
Mentors "have a direct influence on the growth and survival of their business," according to over 90% of small businesses surveyed by Kabbage. The advantages of being — or learning from — a mentor may extend well beyond your connections and can significantly influence your whole organization.
Mentoring promotes optimism among employees, which aids in staff retention and return on investment. This is especially true among diverse corporate populations, according to Cornell University research, especially "if direct supervisors of mentees are interested and committed with the mentorship program."
According to HR expert Karen Hasenauer, who has been both a mentor and a mentee throughout her career, the advantages of mentorship go both ways. "Mentoring someone teaches me so much because it compels me to look at my experiences with new eyes and demonstrates how the business landscape has changed," she said. "It promotes growth, creativity, and cross-pollination of ideas, concepts, and culture, as well as providing a concrete training development opportunity that encourages participation."
Make your meetings a top priority
Mentors should meet with their mentees anytime they need to chat, but they should also set up a plan so they don't miss a chance to connect when things become hectic. They should meet twice a month or more to have a significant influence, but at the very least, the mentor and mentee should talk once a month.
The schedule you make will be unique to each person's requirements, programs and objectives. Plan in advance how long each meeting will take, and talk about how long the mentoring relationship will endure. Some people rely on their mentors throughout their careers, while others seek mentoring guidance while their businesses are just getting started. The goal is to understand what both individuals want and need from the connection and adapt the mentorship accordingly.
Mentors won't have all the answers, which is a good thing
Some individuals are hesitant to mentor because they believe they won't address all of their mentees' questions and circumstances. But in reality, it's wonderful that you won't always be able to solve their problems for them. The mentorship connection isn't in place for the mentor to solve the mentee's problems. Instead, like a coach in a sports game, you'll prepare your mentee for potential circumstances and work with them through the results, although they may still run into issues. Your guidance and counsel will assist them in anticipating challenges and disputes and reassessing if problems do arise.
If you're not a mentor but rather a mentee, make sure to make the most of your time with your mentor. If you have the ear of a successful entrepreneur, start with the most critical concerns and seek advice and assistance in those areas before moving on to less important ones.
Keep in mind, though, that each entrepreneur's "major challenges" will be different. While one startup may regard a new hire's personality issues as a minor concern, another may believe that this topic is causing the firm to flip upside-down. As a result, prepare a list of priorities you'd like to address with your mentor before meeting with them so you can get right to the critical issues.
When properly nurtured, mentorship may provide unrivaled advantages to all people concerned and dramatically accelerate career and corporate progress.