What is a Mentor?
Cambridge Dictionary describe a mentor as a knowledgeable individual that gives a less experienced or younger individual help over a length of time.
A mentor is someone with extensive experience that shares their insight, with the aim of helping you in your personal or professional development. Whatever your desired outcome, a mentor can offer the support that you need to get you to where you want to be.
What do Mentors do?
A Mentor shares their experience
Consider how often you ask your close circle “what would you do in my situation?” Now imagine asking this to an expert in your field. You’ll receive highly effective solutions to your queries.
When it comes to taking steps towards your goals, a mentor listens, understands, provides insight and then puts the ball in your court. They will nudge you towards finding the right path for you, supporting you every step of the way as you move forward.
We all have people in our circles that have experience, but the areas of experience can differ greatly. Cut out the uncertainty of whether your friends and family’s experience is relevant by working with your own mentor that has the perfect experience for you.
A Mentor can boost your connections
One of the many brilliant benefits of having a mentor is that you can boost your connections by tapping into their network. The phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ holds a lot of weight!
A mentor can help to open up new opportunities by getting you access to people that you may not have otherwise had the chance to meet.
Perhaps you are struggling to grow your company; a mentor can connect you to the right people who can make it happen. If you’re wanting to be introduced to members of a certain industry, a mentor can pave the way.
Having access to a mentor and their network opens up new doorways that otherwise may have remained closed.
A Mentor helps improve performance
Mentors are experienced and have lots of knowledge, which can be used to guide you on your self-improvement journey. Rather than giving you a step-by-step plan to achieve your goals, mentoring programmes gently push you to improve, inspiring you to become the best version of yourself.
When you would otherwise be feeling like you’re in this alone, a mentor walks with you throughout your growth and development journey.
‘Can’t I just rely on the internet for that?’ you ask. There is of course a wealth of knowledge to be found online, but it’s all generic. A mentor applies their knowledge in a tailored manner, their support can be personalised to provide you exactly what you need.
A Mentor acts as an impartial sounding board
At times, our friends and family can be biased. With our best interests at heart, their pure intentions can lead to some questionable advice.
A mentor on the other hand, comes from an impartial place. They look at your situation from an aerial view. This aerial view can be invaluable if you are feeling overwhelmed or struggling with tunnel vision that’s blocking you from making an informed choice.
A mentor and a mentee relationship is a two way street, you communicate your thoughts, feelings and ideas and they relay their advice. An experienced mentor knows exactly what has worked and what hasn’t in their own past. Let them guide you through your current obstacles.
A Mentor can boost your morale
Acting as a source of encouragement, a mentor can give your confidence a much-needed boost. If you’re struggling with Imposter Syndrome or crippling self-doubt, it can be very hard to get to grips with your goals and plans. You may feel like they’re just out of reach, or that you’re not good enough to achieve them.
Thankfully, a mentor has your interests in mind, and can work with you to highlight your strengths and abilities.
With much more experience under their belts, mentors can draw upon their own circumstances over many years. Having been through it all themselves before, a mentor is well placed to nudge you in the right direction. Ultimately, their emotional support will help to boost your morale and improve your self-esteem.
A Mentor builds trust
If trust is something you struggle with, embarking on a mentoring journey can help you to develop your ability to trust.
Your relationship with your mentor is one that can be relied upon. A mentoring relationship allows you to feel like you have an ally who is always fighting your corner.
Receiving regular feedback from a mentor also builds your trust in your own abilities. After giving you the reassurance needed to flourish, you’ll find that you view the world through a different lens.
Discover Mentoring for yourself
Take the first steps and embark on your own mentoring journey. With a specialist network of over 100 mentors, coaches & wellbeing experts from a range of backgrounds, finding a mentor that matches all your requirements doesn’t have to be hard.
Our experts offer tailored advice to help you with your personal, business or career development; explore them here. Thanks to our free Virtual Coffee service, you can meet with any of our experts in order to see how well you gel before committing to a service.
Start your journey towards self-improvement today. Unsure whether mentoring or coaching is right for you? Read our comparison article here, plus stay tuned for our “What does a coach do?” blog post.