Do You or Should You Use a Mentor?
Benefits of Mentoring
Mentoring provides the mentee with exposure to new ideas, a chance to develop additional skills, help to develop change management and access to new networks and resources.
There are many more benefits to being mentored. These include providing a framework in which the culture of the practice can be communicated, maintaining motivation, improving succession planning, enhancing professional development and linking managers with knowledge and information that they may not have previously had. This in turn not only benefits the mentee but the business, its owners and the team.
Often topics that mentees select can be quite varied but the common theme generally with managers who seek to be mentored is that they are eager to learn more, expand on their skills and increase their knowledge and awareness in their selected topics.
Having a good relationship with an experienced mentor provides the mentee with an extended network of colleagues that they can call on to further their knowledge. A good mentor is privileged to be able to pass on their experience and knowledge gained to enable managers to grow and develop within their role. Mentors will usually get a great deal of satisfaction hearing feedback from their mentees as to how the service has helped them in their role.
A mentor has the opportunity to contribute to the aims and objectives of the mentee’s business, assist the mentee in their knowledge and understanding of business related topics (ie benchmarking / KPIs), assist to improve or develop a practice culture, assist with solving any current / potential problems and to provide projects / tasks for them to undertake. It also gives them the opportunity to encourage the mentee to think outside their comfort zone and perhaps take steps or make uncomfortable decisions that may be necessary.
The mentor / mentee relationship is nurtured through the commitment of both the mentee to improve on current skills and the mentor to provide the direction and resources.
Being a mentor not only prompts the mentee to think about the way they approach their work but also prompts the mentor to rethink processes and look for better ways of doing things.
The role of the manager is ever changing and if they don’t keep up with those changes by continuing education and using their networks then not only will they be left behind but the effect could be significant on the business.
“If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us”
By Debra Smith
FAAPM, CPM, JP