The importance of mentors
How are you at asking for advice? Do you have a trusted ear you can bend when the water gets choppy?
The most successful people aren’t islands. They have teams, advisors, and experts working with them behind the scenes.
Because different perspectives can help you get fresh insight, clarity, and support you can trust can give you the confidence to move forward.
What a mentor is, and isn’t…
Coach, trainer, mentor, they are all sound similar but there are real differences. A trainer is likely to be working with you to achieve a goal and a coach is likely to be supporting you take specific steps or change course, but the role of a mentor is much wider than that.
Ultimately a mentor is someone you can turn to and trust. Who can jump on a call to give you ten minutes of advice on a specific challenge or help you over a course of months – or even years – to find the solution to a problem.
What a mentor brings
They can share experience
Choosing the right mentor is key. Get someone who has a track record of success in your field and whose achievements you respect, and their real-world experience will be invaluable.
They will listen without judgement
You can have a great internal team, brilliant support at home, but sometimes those allies are just too close. A mentor will listen with an open mind, be a neutral sounding board, and offer refreshing honesty.
They can stop you treading water
Whether you’re stuck in stasis because you just can’t find the answer, or you’re coasting because complacency has set in, a mentor can help you take the next steps that help you and your business to grow.
They can connect you with others
Whether it’s a partner for a project, a useful operations contacts, or a beneficial peer, a good mentor will be able to connect you with the right people in their network – and vice-versa.
An opportunity to give back
Having a mentor can bring real value to you and your business but mentoring others can be incredibly rewarding too.
The most obvious reward is getting to see your mentee develop, gain confidence, and progress in their career. It’s not always easy when you’re starting out and we can all remember times when we needed a trusted guide to help us take the next step.
But as well as the joy this brings, mentoring others can bring your personal reward too. It can hone your listening and communication skills. It can give you an insight into the challenges members of your own team who are in similar roles may be facing. And it’s likely there will be learnings you can take from someone at a different point in their career.
Here at Form mentorship plays a big role in the work we do. As Laureece, our Project Manager put it: “Having been both a mentor and a mentee, the journey has been incredibly valuable. It not only boosted my self-confidence in my abilities but also brought to light strengths that I had always considered as weaknesses.”
If you want to get involved in mentoring, here are some great places to start: