Mentoring may be defined as professional, semi-guided help that one person offers another, less experienced in the given field. The person offering the help is called mentor, while the person receiving the help is called mentee.
Offering help may be understood in many different ways. Mentoring can be about developing a certain skill, or about introducing a new employee into business, or it can be about personal growth. Besides desired skills, it also helps both mentor and mentee develop trust, respect and other personal characteristics.
Benefits from mentoring
In business terms, mentoring is mostly about sharing the experience and offering empathy. It is rather unique learning environment. Mentee is not the only one that learns; mentor can learn a lot as well. Mutual benefits that this process caries can not be compensated by reading some book or going to school or by using any other learning opportunity.
What should the mentor do?
The best kind of mentoring includes trustworthy mentor and ambitious and ready to learn mentee. In this case, mentor can share the experiences he finds useful and talk to the mentee about learning from them and implementing the conclusions he had came to. Asking questions can be a good approach, because it will allow mentor to get to know the mentee and find a way to work with him so they can get the best possible results. Another important part of this relationship is boosting mentee’s confidence.
While working with the mentee, the mentor really works on himself too, by taking a better look at his believes, inspiration, goals and ways to achieve them. By teaching someone, he improves the skills and deepens the knowledge he has.
Because of the benefits that mentoring has, it is not rare that mentors have their own mentors. A person who is a mentee and has a direct insight of all the benefits that mentoring has will probably want to continue the process by becoming the mentor to some other person.
Duration of mentoring
Sometimes mentoring lasts only until the given goals are fulfilled. In other cases, it can last for a long time, even for years. It all depends on the kind of mentoring. Companies that support this way of learning can have mentoring program with precise duration and goals. On the other hand, personal mentoring can become a way of life. For example, a person that is many years older than the other will always have something new to teach her. This relationship can even last for a lifetime.