Soft Skills - Tips on how to mentor well and how to gain the most from your mentor.
When it comes to improving the performance of people, progressing a career, and ensuring the growth of a company or department, mentoring comes close to being that elusive “magic bullet.”
From a company perspective, mentoring is an in-depth, very relevant, practical, and cost-effective way of developing the next generation of leaders. You can take relatively inexperienced people and bring them up to speed quickly. In addition, existing managers can be taken quickly and with full confidence to the next rung of senior management. Not only that, but because the basis of the mentoring relationship is a helping one, if enough relationships are established, an even better working environment develops.
From the perspective of the “mentee”, it is wonderful to have a more experienced and knowledgeable person to guide you through not only the technical requirements of the job but also the often “hidden” political and social culture of the organization.
The benefits to the mentor might not be so obvious. Of course, you get the “brownie points” for doing what your company has asked you to do. Also, the mentee could be an additional resource to delegate to. However, many mentors report much deeper human benefits—the satisfaction of seeing another human being progress and succeed.