The Art Of Mentorship

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Mentorship requires commitment from both sides, as it is a relationship.

The importance of mentorship for successful career growth cannot be emphasized enough. And the earlier the mentorship starts, the better. Various studies show that young people who have received mentorship are tipped to find work early (for those who are just getting into the working world), are more responsible, more financially stable and report loving their work. Mentorship does benefit both parties. Mentoring someone, for example, helps you, the mentor, to further clarify what you know, as Julie Starr writes in The Mentoring Manual: Your Step by Step Guide to Being a Better Mentor. But, just like a relationship, it takes work for it to be successful. A lot of factors are required to make it a successful relationship. To make the relationship work, consider the following.

Mentee: Know Your Values

Career experts recommend that you should first define your values. What do you want to get out of your job, what are your timelines, what do you hope to achieve in the long-run, and most importantly, what do you look for in a mentor, and what do you hope to get out of them. This will help craft out your goals and make for successful mentorship.

Mentee: Take Your Mentor’s Advice Seriously

When Dr. Sharon Straus, a researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, carried out a large qualitative study on mentoring, she found that one of the markers of successful mentorship is when the mentees take their mentors’ advice seriously. That doesn’t exactly mean that you need to follow every advice, but if the mentee ignores most of the advice, then the relationship is pointless.

Mentor: Listen Actively

Active listening is the hallmark of every successful relationship. Active listening involves not interrupting, that is, being quiet and paying attention as the person you’re mentoring talks about his or her goals and any issues he or she is facing.

Mentor And Mentee: Have Mutually Defined Goals

What are you both working towards? It is crucial to articulate goals for the relationship. Lack of goals, or having clashing goals, beats the purpose of the relationship and, indeed, is one of the reasons why mentorship relationships can fail.

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