This is true regardless of participants’ specific objectives, industries, or roles.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a relationship between the mentor and the mentee based on mutual respect, total confidentiality, and a shared understanding of how to achieve the mentee’s objectives.
Mentoring can occur naturally, informally or formally. It can be a formal part if a program within a professional organization or an informal relationship.
It can last a day, several weeks, just long enough to help an individual over a “hump,” or it can last several years. We usually encourage our coaching clients to seek out several mentors over the course of their career.
Corporate sponsored mentoring is sometimes used to achieve strategic business goals, such as retaining new employees and/or for leadership succession planning.
A mentor could be a highly visible and experienced company executive advising a rising star. Although a senior manager may be helpful to your career, working with someone from outside your organization, who is not invested in organizational politics, can ensure that conversations, concerns, and issues are kept in strict confidence. An experienced executive/business coach will also offer an objective view from the outside looking in.
All career-minded individuals can benefit from a mentor. However, be sure to respect their time and confidentiality. And be prepared for your conversations. Arrive ready to discuss issues that are most important to you. Meeting with a mentor six times a year for approximately and hour or so would be appropriate. You might also ask if impromptu phone calls would be welcomed.
It’s mentoring taken to the next level: the sponsor champions the mentee, suggests and supports their promotions, puts them forward for positions of responsibility and, especially for entrepreneurs, opens doors, acts as a reference, uses their networks to create opportunities and then supports them to take these opportunities.
The benefits of mentoring and sponsoring are tangible. 70% of small businesses receiving mentoring or sponsoring survive more than five years---double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.
Martine Liautaud: Breaking Through: Stories and Best Practices From Companies That Help Women Succeed (ebook $16.99, hardcover $21.29)
When Doing It All Won't Do: A self-coaching guide for career women. (ebook edition $0.99, Workbook Edition in paperback $13.41)