Setting sail together with Mentorship
Mentorship is a great way to learn and grow new skills, or enrich existing ones, by working in collaboration with others.
It’s not a new thing and has been around since the times of Ancient Greece, with the term ‘Mentor’ coming from the character of the same name in Homer’s Odyssey.
Forming a mentoring relationship, where one person seeks guidance from another, is described as Mentorship….I like that as for me it creates a picture of two people sailing on a journey together.
As a Mentor it’s incredibly rewarding to be asked to help support someone steer their way through the tricky path of life, and watch them grow and gain confidence.
As a Mentee it can feel like someone is finally in your corner, rooting for you, and cheering you on all the way to be the best you can be.
I’ve had the opportunity to receive mentoring from a really fantastic range of role models over the years, who have given me their time, insight and space to guide me.
And I’ve also been privileged to be asked by a number of people who’ve come to me seeking Mentorship to support them with their professional and personal growth.
Both sides of the Mentorship relationship provide the opportunity to learn and grow — it’s not a one way street. I’ve been reflecting on what makes it work, and doesn’t, and have captured this in the Mentorship Pyramid
When a Mentorship relationship works well, it comprises all four elements of the Mentorship Pyramid, when it doesn’t it’s because one or all of them are missing.
The four elements of the pyramid are:
- Listen — to hear and gain an understanding of each other. Provide the time and space to allow each other to share and tune in. Be present and don’t talk over each other.
- Learn — what each other’s interests, influences, values and preferences are. Agree with each other how you’re going to form and run the Mentorship relationship together. Be prepared to share, and know that you’ll both learn things from each other that you didn’t know before. Learn to make time for reflection.
- Encourage — provide support and guidance to try new things, new ways of working, new ways of thinking or keeping going with it. Encouragement leads to gaining courage, confidence and inspiration, it’s a very powerful and impactful combination.
- Build Trust — Building trust is an ongoing commitment so don’t make the mistake of expecting too much too soon. In order to build trust, first take small steps and focus on putting the core foundations in place — Listen, Learn, Encourage — and then trust will evolve and build over time.
These four elements were all present in my recent Mentorship relationship with an extremely talented and experienced communications professional and led to me writing Relearning the itch to write and continuing to work on this.
If reading this Mentorship Blog has encouraged you to think about being a Mentor, or seeking one out, there is more information here in this useful article:
Mentoring: A Mutually Beneficial Partnership
Do you want to move your career forward? Would you like to develop your leadership skills as well as help others learn…
Many thanks for reading my Blog, which I hope you found useful and interesting. I’d welcome your feedback and will look to share more as I keep relearning to itch my writing scratch.
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