Updated: May 30
Having and being a mentor can play a crucial role for anyone looking to progress in life and succeed in their field. The mentor typically has expertise and knowledge in a particular field and can help the mentees to achieve goals, overcome challenges and reach their full potential.
A mentor is a trusted and experienced advisor who can encourage, share knowledge and experience, provide guidance, feedback and support. Here are six reasons why having a mentor can be the key to success:
Benefits of having a mentor to guide you on your journey
Personalised guidance: A mentor is a trusted and experienced advisor who will listen, ask questions, provide feedback and trigger new thoughts and ideas. A mentor will also act as your ‘critical friend’ who will challenge your opinions constructively when needed.
Knowledge and experience: A mentee can access the insights of someone with more expertise in a particular field. Strengths and weaknesses can be detected and solutions can be offered to progress.
Mentors help to make connections: A mentee can benefit from the network of a mentor that can open doors. These new opportunities can help the mentees advance in their careers.
Accountability: Clear expectations and goals can be established between mentor and mentee. A mentor will help the mentee to stay accountable on reaching the goals.
Growth and development: Having a mentor is a valuable asset in achieving personal and professional success as a mentor will help the mentee to grow and to develop skills, knowledge and experience.
More confidence: A mentor will encourage and boost your confidence. By being surrounded by positive people in our lives, we become more confident in ourselves and our abilities.
"Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction" - John C. Crosby
Can anybody be your mentor? The simple answer is yes! However, you want to get the best possible mentor that fits with your expectations. Finding the right mentor who can guide you in your personal and professional life can make a huge difference in your success and happiness. Here are some characteristics to look for when seeking for a mentor:
Key characteristics of a great mentor:
Communication skills: Active listening, asking questions and providing clear and constructive feedback.
Knowledge and experience: Often an older/wiser mentor and a less experienced mentee.
Desire to help others progress and succeed: A mentor should be positive and stay committed to provide ongoing support and guidance to the mentee.
Empathy: Being able to understand the mentee and looking at things from the mentee’s perspective.
Trustworthiness: confidentiality is an essential characteristic in the relationship between mentor and mentee. A mentor should provide honest and unbiased advice.
"A great mentor is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget."
Why everyone – yes also you – should be a mentor!
Mentoring is a two-way process, where both the mentor and the mentee can gain valuable experience and insights. Here are six reasons why everyone should consider being a mentor:
Being a mentor will help you to enhance your leadership skills as you use the opportunity to guide and shape the leaders of tomorrow.
Being a mentor will improve your soft skills such as active listening, critical thinking and problem solving that are highly valued in life.
Being a mentor is a great opportunity to gain new insights and ideas that can broaden your horizon and help you to see things from a different perspective.
Being a mentor will expand your network. As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to meet new people. Mentoring can also help you to understand and communicate with people of different backgrounds, experiences, and personalities.
Being a mentor will boost your confidence in your own skills and can be rewarding and provide a sense of fulfilment.
Being a mentor can change someone’s life. Your encouragement, positive energy and support can make a positive impact on someone’s life.
Takeaway: “Mentor or be a mentee, it’s all about unlocking your full potential!”
You can listen to my personal story in the podcast with Soccer Science LTD where we also discussed the value and importance of mentors and education:
In one of my next blogs I will describe the differences between mentoring and (executive) coaching. Stay tuned!