A Mentor Does and Does not

A mentor..

  • Takes a long-range view of your growth and development.
  • Helps you see the destination but does not give you the detailed map to get there.
  • Offers encouragement and cheerleading, but not "how to" advice.

A mentor does not..

  • Serve as a coach as explained above.
  • Function as an advocate of yours in the organizational environment such as your boss would; the relationship is more informal.
  • Tell you how to do things.
  • Support you on transactional, short-term problems.
  • Serve as a counselor or therapist. 
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The word "mentor" was first used in Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey" when Odysseus entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor who served as a teacher and overseer to Odysseus' son.

This is where mentor was derived meaning "a trusted councelor or guide."

  1. Use your time looking for the mentor you are comfortable with.
  2. Share your goals and fears openly.
  3. Do not expect your mentor to spoon-feed you.
  4. Do not expect specific advice.
  5. Share your struggles and failures.
  6. Listen, research and apply your mentor's guidance.
  7. Show that you value your mentor's support.
  8. Do not abuse your relationship by expecting political support in the organization.

The terms mentoring and coaching are often mistakenly interchanged. Although they are similar, they are not the same when it comes to approach.

  • Mentoring - long-term relationship focusing on the growth and development of the mentee with the mentor as the source of the wisdom, support, and knowledge.
  • Coaching - short-term relationship focusing on strengthening traits and eliminating behaviors that diminishes one's performance.
  • Have the willingness to learn and be open to positive or negative feedback.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for advice and use this chance to practice being a good listener.
  • Let your mentor know what your goals are.
  • Discuss with your mentor how you can best measure the success and effectiveness of your working relationship together.
  • Always follow your appointments.
  • Keep track of your discussions with your mentor and follow up specifically on those steps when you meet.

A mentor is not someone who gives you direct answers, but someone who challenges you to know the right answer. 

And in life, you can't be spoon-fed all the time. The role of a mentor is to guide you and give you the wisdom in knowing the answer.

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RELATED IDEAS

Mentoring is about being able pass knowledge to someone who would benefit from it.

Mentoring programs usually have four key elements:

  • Improving performance
  • Career development
  • Counselling
  • Sharing knowledge

What is Mentoring? | SkillsYouNeed

skillsyouneed.com

  • Advisor and Coach - provides advice, guidance,and feedback.
  • Champion and Cheerleader - inspires and motivates the mentee to try new things, move out of comfort zone, and to always be optimistic.
  • Resource and Recommendations - suggesting resources that could help with personal development and growth such as books, workshops, organizations, etc.
  • Devil's Advocate and Truth-sayer - honest and provides tough feedback to help inspire mentees to push forward, push them to take risks, and help them to always consider consequences before making decisions.

What Exactly Is the Mentor's Role? What Is the Mentee's?

td.org

  • Sincere and have the desire to develop and help others even without any price.
  • Prepared to commit time and energy to the mentoring relationship.
  • Have the relevant knowledge, expertise, or skills needed by the mentee.
  • Have the will to share his experiences, event the bad ones.
  • With a growth mindset and learning attitude.
  • Possesses the skills to help develop others.

Mentoring Matters: Three Essential Elements Of Success

forbes.com

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