How to match with a mentor
“I have found the mentor relationship very challenging and rewarding.”
The Business Mentoring relationship operates on many levels, for example working on specific issues, creating strategic insights, motivating and encouraging. It is a relationship that has to be built on trust, respect, openness to new ideas and a willingness to learn. It is important, therefore to make sure there is the right ‘fit’ between mentor and mentee.
To match a Mentor with a Mentee, it is important to establish all the necessary criteria in order to obtain the right skills, experience and personal attributes needed for a comfortable fit. Things that need to be considered include:
- How the Mentee is seeking to innovate, and the skills and guidance they need
- The Mentee’s personal characteristics and learning style
- The business key issues and challenges for the future.
You have to carefully select Mentors for their expertise, alignment to the Mentee’s criteria and their degree of flexibility and compatibility with the Mentee.
How does mentoring work?
“At long last, with my Mentor’s input, I am now able to focus on the strategic components of my job.”
Typically, mentoring involves a confidential relationship between the Mentor and Mentee, meeting in one to one sessions. On occasions however, it may be appropriate to include others, such as key staff or other owners or directors, particularly when the content involves their area of expertise.
Mentoring panels are another form of mentoring in which the mentee is exposed to multiple view points and specialist knowledge. These panels are particularly helpful when you are innovating in several areas of the business or are seeking to access finance.
Generally, mentors will seek to guide you by asking challenging questions and encouraging you to think differently about your responses to opportunities. Mentors should not take the place of professional service providers who give specific advice in their area of expertise.
To get the most out of a mentoring relationship, it is a good practice to set goals, milestones and measurements so that you can monitor progress towards targeted outcomes.