Mentoring is a great opportunity to tap into knowledge exchange and career support. Mentoring is the pairing of an experienced or skilled person (mentor) with a person who would like to improve his or her skills (mentee). The mentor acts as a role model and supports the mentee by sharing knowledge, resources and advice to help them improve their skills. Traditionally mentors were more senior and experienced individuals, however in today’s diverse and dynamic workplace mentoring can be done in a number of ways. Some organizations have formal mentoring programs while others encourage informal mentoring. Here are a few ways mentoring is practiced.
Traditional 1:1 mentoring involves pairing up with someone more senior and experienced to focus on a specific area of expertise and sage advice.
Peer-to-peermentoring involves partnering with those who may have similar knowledge and years of experience who bring value to the relationship through unique perspectives and skills.
Group mentoring is when a mentor works with more than one mentee and all those participating can leverage peer-to-peer as well as expert experiences simultaneously.
Reverse mentoring is when the mentor is the junior person. The partnership focuses on knowledge exchange keeping the more senior person up to date with technology as an example.
It doesn’t matter which mentoring approach you engage in, what matters is mentoring will boost your career development, regardless of age or experience.
Mentoring improves self-awareness because it’s the perfect platform to facilitate self-reflection on your skills, behaviours and experiences to provide insights about strengths and areas of development. Mentoring increases networking opportunity by its powerful ripple effect on those involved and adds value to the businesses they work in. Mentoring also holds those involved accountable to their goals by creating a safe and non-judgmental space to reflect on progress and inspires forward movement resulting in growth and confidence.