A mentor is someone who has ‘been there and done that’ and that too within a shorter span of time. Mentors challenge and demand the best from their mentees not just by constructive criticisms and feedback but also by inspiring their subordinates through their own performance! They help the mentees under them in achieving their potential by listening to their troubles and problems, advising them by sharing valuable words of wisdom, supporting them, encouraging them constructively, guiding them through the initial hurdles and if required, by reprimanding them for their undesirable conduct. The age gap between the mentor and mentee is not more than a couple of years so the generation gap does not set in, leaving enormous room for a friendly, yet formal, relationship to be shared between the two individuals. An organization usually encourages the mentor-mentee relationships over a team leader or a manager and other such arrangements since this one allows an individualised and a personal one to one relationship that borders between informal and formal. The whole point is to create the correct atmosphere for the mentees so that they feel encouraged and discuss their needs and issues openly with the mentor who is obviously in a position to help them. Read the following article to get a clearer idea about what do mentors actually do.
Role Of A Mentor
With an undoubtedly accomplished career graph and a higher position in the organisation, mentors must be admired and respected by the mentees. The list of their achievements should instil a burning desire to emulate and practice in the mentees. Their habits, approach to work, style and skills are something that mentees look upto for a mentor is a source of inspiration to the mentees. Hence, efficient mentors practise what they preach and lead by example.
Just like a coach, a mentor always challenges the mentee and demands them to raise their standards. By improving the confidence level of the mentee, a mentor is able to guide them through difficulties and hardships towards growth and career development. By helping them learn the ropes of their job profile, a mentor teaches not only by imparting theoretical knowledge, but also by giving feedback to the mentee about their drawbacks. Valuable insights are imparted and mentees are made aware of their strengths and weaknesses by the mentor – this ensures a positive and effective growth for the mentees.
Protector And Supporter
A mentor acts as a protector by sharing crucial inside stories of the workplace or other adverse forces like ‘dead-end’ job assignments and important people to avoid, etc. By lending a sympathetic ear to the troubles and problems faced by the mentee and acknowledging triumphs as well as disappointments, the mentor also becomes a supporter for the mentee.
Facilitates The Transition From College To Office
In most companies, the mentor is assigned freshers straight out of college with zero or negligible work experience. At such times, the mentor has to hone the mentee’s skills and polish them to suit the job profile. Building responsibilities by carefully monitoring the mentee’s progress and guiding them becomes an important role of the mentor in such situations.
With the vast experience that a mentor has gathered over the years in a field, he/she usually has a bag full of anecdotes and interesting measures and shortcuts to deal with difficult situations. The role of a mentor also includes passing on this immense wealth of knowledge and wisdom to his/her mentee. Such practical tips and advice helps the mentees understand their roles and responsibilities better and contribute to the confidence building of the mentee.
Hope the above points helped you understand the concept and role of a mentor better. As you must have understood by now, a mentor effectively helps to increase the productivity of the work culture by focussing on a few mentees at a time to facilitate individual learning and skill development.