What is executive mentoring?
There’s no better person to learn from within your industry and organization than someone that’s already “been there, done that.” Executive Mentoring is the process of enabling individual management leaders to be guided by a designated mentor. The mentor transfers institutional knowledge and skills and takes the relationship a step further by listening to the mentee, discussing issues, and offering comfort so that the professional can blend into the functioning of the organizational structure. Professionals looking to develop their careers and hone their skills should preferably work with a mentor within their organization or industry.
A mentor says ‘let’s go do it’, not ‘you go do it’. How powerful when someone says ‘Let’s!’
~Jim Rohn, American Entrepreneur
5 Important Benefits of Executive Mentoring
Once a mentor-mentee relationship is sealed, no one knows you better than the mentor in the organization. A mentorship program builds the mentee to become what they choose to be professionally and, often, even personally. In a recent Forbes article, Paramita Bhattacharya states, “Generally, a good mentor is someone who is motivated and energized, cares about developing others, and is willing to commit their time. At the same time, if you are a mentee, make sure to dedicate the time and energy necessary to be mentored properly. It’s most effective when there is a good match between the mentor and mentee—whether that be in backgrounds, skill sets, experiences, roles or facing similar challenges.”
- Professional & Personal Growth & Development
Professional growth requires individual development in nurturing and upgrading skills, on-the-job training, and exposure to specific situations to learn from. This is an ongoing process during the course of a professional’s career. Working alongside a mentor can fast track this growth and learning. A mentor has hands-on experience and transfers the knowledge and expertise to the mentee.
In her LinkedIn blog post, Nympha Nzeribe states, “I’m more motivated to step up my exercise routine, read more books than I used to, and say “no” to ideas and things that make me uncomfortable, even when doing so does seem to be one of the most difficult things to do, because his voice, “Nympha, always find yourself doing hard things,” keeps echoing in my subconscious. The “growth mindset and learning attitude” is another life skill that I have picked up so far as a mentee. The best teachers are always eager learners; my mentor is a prime example of this. He always maintains an open frame of mind since he strives to learn more. Again, my enthusiasm for reading and learning new things has been further increased by this positive outlook.”
- Swift Onboarding and Guidance
A new executive under a mentorship program quickly syncs with organizational systems and structure. The time taken to feel comfortable in a new role will be significantly diminished compared to doing things alone. Even CEOs of large corporations seek mentors for transitioning into their new roles or company.
- Listening and Sharing
A mentor becomes a valuable contact for executives. Productivity often gets depleted not just by professional concerns but also by personal circumstances. Executives in management roles often feel exhausted with no one to speak to for guidance. Positions with a great deal of responsibility can frequently make executives feel lonely. A mentor listens to the thoughts, concerns, and emotions and helps traverse this life situation without lonely feelings and lost productivity. In a MentorCloud authored blog titled “The Importance of Listening in Mentoring to Successfully Guide Mentees. Know Why?”, the blog states, “Mentors must listen to mentees the same way they would like to be listened to. Mentors can promote this by creating an atmosphere with no diversion, undivided attention, and honest conversation. The more a mentor is open to hearing, the more a mentee will be comfortable in sharing.”
- Gateway to Wider Circle of Influence
The mentor is the gateway to a broader circle of influence that can aid in your professional growth. Being introduced by a mentor would instantly add credibility, which otherwise takes time and effort to obtain. Networking is not a one-time activity. It is a way of life. Mentors help develop connections with the right people for the proper growth at the appropriate time. In his blog titled “How mentorship can expand your professional network”, Muinat Zubair says, “Networking can be a pain, but its importance can’t be ignored. Although the right education and credentials are essential, a solid network can tip the scales in your favor. Mentorship helps you expand your network and visibility in your field. The mentor-mentee relationship is one of mutual regard and meaningful contribution. A mentee should be willing to take responsibility to get the most out of the connection, as he or she stands to gain the most from the relationship.”
- Constructive Feedback for Change
Being receptive to feedback is an important aspect of change and development. A mentor feels a personal responsibility for the mentee and does not shy away from sharing feedback. For instance, if one’s professional goals and actions aren’t aligned, a mentor states what is not up to the mark and what change needs to occur within the mentee. While consistently nurturing, sharpening, and upgrading skills is excellent, there’s always room for constructive feedback. Mentors are just the people to offer this advice, as you have a high degree of trust in your mentor’s counsel. Chantelle Argent’s blog “Why Feedback Is So Important For Your Mentoring Sessions” drives the point home when she states, “The best thing you can do for yourself as a mentee, is make it clear to the mentor that you are keen to hear their honest opinions. It is down to both of you to facilitate an environment in which healthy debates and discussions are frequent and fruitful.”
You’re ready. It’s time to sit down and think about who would serve as a great mentor to help take your leadership potential to the next level. Once your mentor is in place, you’ll thank yourself, and the people on your team will also be thankful. Your drive to succeed and to continually hone your abilities won’t go unnoticed.
Don’t forget, another great way to stay ahead of the game is to engage the services of an executive coach.
Did you know that SucceedSmart members who land a new job through the platform receive 6 FREE months of executive coaching to help them transition into a new role? This is one of the many benefits SucceedSmart members enjoy. Apply for membership here.