Many people like John Bradberry Charlotte NC decide to share their knowledge and experience – whether professional, spiritual, or “life” – with younger and less experienced people coming up behind them. These people are often referred to as “mentors.” Mentors can play a very significant role in the lives of the their “mentees,” that is, the people they are mentoring. In a way, they perform the social function of “the elder” that has become lost in our modern society, sharing wisdom, offering advice, and transferring knowledge. Many successful people attribute some of their success to the fact that they were expertly guided by mentors earlier in their careers and lives. Here are just a few of the important things that a mentor can offer to a mentee.
Mentors can teach mentees – One of the key functions of a mentor is to provide instruction to a mentee about specific skills, processes or functions. This is especially the case when the mentoring relationship is a professional one – many large organizations formally assign mentors to new or newly promoted employees in order to help them to make the transition into a new role and the larger organization. In this context, mentors act to provide some on the job training.
Mentors can offer guidance – In addition to providing some fairly specific instruction or teaching related to the job, mentors can be an excellent source of informal information that can help the mentee to succeed. In a work context, this can involve guidance and advice about unwritten rules or codes of conduct or expectations. It can also involve providing advice about how to manage particular challenges that come up along the way, for example by providing important background information or reassurance. In the case of personal rather than professional mentoring relationships, a mentor can be a sounding board to help the mentee grapple with important life decisions, and can be a voice of reason when a mentee may seem about to make a poor decision.
Mentors can offer encouragement – One of the great things that a mentor can offer to a mentee is support and encouragement. A mentor has “been there, done that” in many ways, and will have found ways to navigate many of the same challenges that are facing their mentee. For this reason, they can provide encouragement from the perspective of someone who has faced these challenges. It is one thing for a friend to say to another that “it will all work out” when the friend has no personal understanding of the profession or industry. It is a different thing for a mentor to say the same thing, because the mentee knows that the mentor speaks from experience as is able to offer first-hand insights. Mentors can also offer support to their mentees by introducing them to people in the field or profession, and by opening doors when it is appropriate.
While there are many other roles that a mentor can play, these are some of the most important features of the relationship between a mentor and a mentee.