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Mentorship: Choosing the right person to guide your growth


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Mentorship: Choosing the right person to guide your growth


Mentorship is a valuable resource for individuals looking to grow and develop their wholesome being. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Mentorship is a valuable resource for individuals looking to grow and develop their wholesome being.

It is a process that iterates between learning, unlearning, and re-learning as we fine-tune our experiences and position ourselves to become excellent versions of ourselves.

Making mistakes is an innate characteristic of humans, and we can gain valuable lessons from them. However, this is only possible if we view our errors optimistically.

Yet, even with a positive outlook, our time is too precious to waste making all the mistakes ourselves.

Read: Mentoring women leaders

To expedite our growth and learning, we must capitalise on our social connections and tap into mentorship, one of the most reliable avenues to flatten our learning curve and excel in life.
Mentoring is a relationship between two people, the mentor, and mentee, to influence the personal and professional growth of the latter through emotional support, guidance, and direction.

The craft has a long history dating back to the Trojan War in ancient Greek poetry. In Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachus’ companion, Mentor, gave Odysseus’ son advice and guidance while Telemachus was away in battle.
During the mentorship, the experience and expertise accumulated by the mentor in their career and lifespan are transferred in a coordinated approach to the mentee to accelerate their learning and development.

Mentorship programmes are known to impact both individuals positively.

While for the mentee, the programme can motivate them to stay focused on the goals and aspirations that matter to them, for the mentor, it can be a source of fulfilment to see their mentee realise their dreams and become better versions of themselves. 

Benefits of mentorship
Mentorship programmes have many outstanding benefits. Mentees who invest objectively in the programmes can accelerate their healthy growth to become the best versions of themselves.

By learning from someone who is merited in their field, the mentee can avoid making common but costly mistakes while also gaining from the rich networks of the mentor.

Mentorship journeys provide a safe and supportive environment for learning and growth.

In objectivity and honesty, the mentor can offer constructive feedback and insights on the mentee’s progress to help navigate ensuing challenges and expand their knowledge base.

As a role model and opinion shaper, the mentor can help influence the behaviours and habits necessary to navigate the complexities of their chosen profession.

Mentorship can also help to accelerate the acquisition of requisite skills that strategically put the Mentor on the launchpad of success. 
The missing piece to your puzzle
Finding the right mentor then is a critical step for any professional who desires growth and development. Here are some insights to help.
Crystalise your goals: If you were to set off for a journey without a clear destination, then any direction would be okay.

The trip would, however, be more meaningful, arriving at the desired destination you set out for.

Similarly, it’s critical to articulate your professional endgame in advance to make the most of your mentorship journey.

This will be instrumental in deciding the calibre and characteristics of the mentor you need before putting a name or face to them.

It is critical to be clear about your expectations and what the mentor can offer.
Seek out shared values: Even as you seek an accomplished and experienced person to help guide your professional journey, finding someone who shares your values and work ethic is critical.

Someone who will quickly see your perspective even if it is not the correct lens to be looking from. This will make the improvement journey more relatable to your own experiences hence more drive to the process.

Read: The value of mentorship in schools
Pick from the league of masters: As Iron sharpens Iron, you need the best to be the best. Seek someone with the level of competence you aspire to attain.

Narrowing to persons with relevant qualifications, proficiency, and merit as you will guarantee that you get advice based on real-journey experiences.
Leverage your social capital: From your pool of network in family, colleagues, industry acquaintances, friends, or alumni, seek potential mentors.

Do not shy away from seeking beneficial connections and or recommendations. Sometimes, the bridges we need are closer than we need.
Your network is your net worth: Networking aggressively and slowly build your network by having connections, familiarisations, and engagement credit from reputable industry captains.

Professional and social events such as Industry meetups, product launches, Training programs, workshops, and Annual events are great opportunities to meet potential mentors.

Be selective in the events to attend and for those you choose to be outgoing and approachable so you can network with and connect with professionals in your field.

These could be your mentors in time. You can also utilize online resources, such as LinkedIn, by identifying potential mentors in active and experienced professionals in your industry or field.
In conclusion, finding the right Mentor is as vital as the mentorship journey for assured professional growth and development.

By staying true to your innate goals and objectively identifying mentors who resonate with your aspirations and are willing to assist you become a better version of yourself, you can become anything you seek out for.

Mr Owano is the Managing Director at DataClave.

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