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While mentoring is certainly coming further to the forefront as a recognised means of achieving personal and professional growth, there are still many misconceptions surrounding mentoring and how the mentor-mentee relationship works.
We have compiled a list of the top 10 myths about mentoring that need to be debunked in order to help people feel more informed when considering whether to find a mentor.
Mentoring is for juniors
While mentoring can be an excellent way for students, graduates, junior employees, or first-time business owners to gain a head start in their professional endeavours, mentoring can also be invaluable for those at a more established point in their career.
Sometimes the world can change faster than we do. 2020 has seen people having to adapt very quickly and in a huge variety of ways. As we advance our careers or businesses, regardless of how much experience we have, there will always be new challenges and circumstances that we have not encountered before.
But someone out there will have the answers, and that person could make a great mentor for even the most senior employees or successful business owners to navigate new speedbumps or changes in direction.
Mentoring must be face to face
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that the world has become a place in which we can function pretty well with virtual communication and working remotely.
In fact, when it comes to mentoring, not being restricted by distance means that there is a larger pool of potential contacts to choose from, and there is a lot more flexibility in terms of forming a schedule.
A mentor-mentee relationship is a long-term commitment
Mentoring can be a fruitful, long-term relationship that spans years. Mentoring can also be just a few sessions that provide the mentee with that little bit of insight that they need before going on to integrate what they have learned.
Mentoring can be regular and consistent, or it can be a relationship that you can dip in and out of when the time is right. The most important thing is that the mentor and mentee communicate openly about their needs and expectations, remaining open with each other and on the same page.
Being a mentor is purely altruistic
A mentor is not just a mentor because they have a lot of knowledge and some free time. The mentor-mentee relationship should be a mutually beneficial.
The mentee is not solely the learner and the mentor solely the teacher. Mutual respect and commitment will strengthen the outcome for both parties and steers the relationship in a prosperous direction.
For a mentor, offering their expertise and applying it to new circumstances can be hugely rewarding and a great learning experience. Likewise, the mentee can gain new confidence by introducing the mentor to their unique situations and having their strengths and business ideas validated.
A mentor is someone you already know or work with
If you are lucky enough to know someone that has all the answers to your questions and also has the time to talk you through them, then great! But it stands to reason that many people would end up having to settle for something less than what they really need, were they not to cast their net a little wider.
Wiseup was built upon the understanding that not everyone has a suitable and willing mentor in their existing contacts, and we believe that this should not present a roadblock for someone looking to find a mentor.
By expanding your search beyond those you already know, you are likely to find someone find more suited and motivated to offering advice where you need it.
Needing a mentor shows weakness
One reason why someone might be put off the idea of finding a mentor, is through fear that asking for help means admitting defeat. This is definitely not the case.
Some of the most successful figures of our time would not be where they are today were it not for mentoring. There is no shame in taking the initiative to seek knowledge from the best sources and using this knowledge to further your own cause. If anything, it is just good sense!
You can only have one mentor
Mentoring is not one-size-fits-all. As a business owner or an individual navigating your own unique career path, you are going to hit various turning points and roadblocks. A mentor that helps you in one area, might not necessarily be the right person to help you in another.
Mentoring is all about finding the right person at the right time, and there should be no limit to how you use mentoring throughout your life.
Wiseup is leading the mentoring revolution because we understand that everyone’s needs are different. Make mentoring work for you. Browse our carefully curated list of mentors today.