Leadership and Career Progression through Mentoring Programs
- Omer Usanmaz
- January 26 2022
As Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet, once wrote, "Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind." Mentors are, in essence, the more experienced in any workplace who are rightly positioned to counsel, support, and advise the young employees.
When new employees, especially those who are young and straight out of their grad school, it is possible that they may face a bit of a problem from now and again in getting a clear understanding of their duties and responsibilities. This is why companies that see over and beyond their goals have mentoring programs that transform senior and junior employees into effective leaders and future leaders, respectively.
Leadership skills are intangible benefits of mentoring a mentor gains from participating in mentoring programs. Not only can mentoring help mentees achieve their professional goals, but it also helps the mentors develop their interpersonal skills.
Leadership and mentorship are synergistic, and together they empower the workplace with passion and growth. Powerful leadership comes from powerful mentorship. Likewise, a mentorship without a leadership role model is one-way mentoring. This article discusses how mentoring fosters leadership development for mentors and mentees and helps them grow together.
Enterprise mentoring and workplace mentoring programs are nowadays essential to leadership development to prepare the future leaders and ensure their satisfaction with their career progress for retention. Nowadays, with mentoring software tools such as Qooper, companies are able to build mentoring programs with best practices in a matter of 2 hours.
How Mentoring Promotes Leadership Growth and Development
Powerful leadership makes experienced employees stay successful in their careers—whether it may be education, sports, or business, mentoring plays an integral role. Today, with advancements in technology, workplaces are far better equipped. Inclusiveness in the workplace is getting more popular, and every organization is rethinking its work culture. This is happening across various industries.
When mentors take up the role of educating and excelling another employee, it becomes much easier for the mentors to stay in control and make better decisions at both the workplace and home. It is a well-known fact that generation z is not as patient as the previous generations. So willfully choosing to put up with them helps the mentors learn more about leadership skills and make excellent candidates become effective leaders. This encapsulates everyone, from female leaders to neuro-diverse leaders.
Here are the reasons why a professional mentor-mentee relationship helps leadership mentors enhance their mentor leadership skills.
Mentoring Fosters Leader Self-efficacy
Self-efficacy is an indispensable quality every leader should possess. In a corporate setting, an employee could achieve any goal if they got the right skills. Leader self-efficacy is one of those skills that helps an employee climb up the corporate ladder faster than someone who lacks leader self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is not inherent and can be developed through mentoring. Dealing with one or more mentees needs more than profound subject knowledge. When working together with mentees, mentors could vicariously revisit their old mistakes and learn a refined solution from them.
Mentoring Enhances Accountability
Mentoring is no mean feat because of the volume of accountability one has to carry on their shoulder. To become a leader is to take more responsibility and accountability in the workplace. In fact, managers and business leaders deal with more stress and challenges that arise when getting close to their professional goals. So when mentors can learn to tackle and leverage the challenges of mentoring into opportunities, they become future leaders. The more mentees a mentor takes into account, the sooner they develop leader self-efficacy.
Mentoring Boosts Confidence
Many successful mentors agree that mentoring helped them prepare for their future roles in their career. As an effective mentoring relationship involves effective communication, it is highly likely that mentors develop a wide range of skill sets that can augment their confidence and job satisfaction. Not only does mentoring boost self-confidence, but it also introduces mentors to power posing. Power posing enables the mentors to attain proper leadership skills and gives them ways to build their credibility by leveraging emotional intelligence. Mentors with high self-esteem are more likely to develop powerful leadership skills. So mentoring is as much for the mentors as it is for the mentees.
Cultivating Effective Mentor Leadership Through Mentoring
Mentoring is the tried and trusted method for cultivating reliable leaders for tomorrow. To mentor is to give back to the next generation what they got from their mentors. In the pandemic, mentoring has become more effective, simple, and inclusive mentorship programs with the help of innovative software and platforms that support virtual mentoring programs.
More than that, a mentorship program is definitely not an easy task for mentors, considering their responsible leadership roles at work. Most importantly, mentoring more than a number of mentees can become tiring at times.
Although mentoring programs are mostly beneficial for mentors, mentees, and the organization, many mentors find it challenging to create a successful and quality training program. An effective mentorship program can seamlessly enable mentors to multitask their daily activities and mentorship roles. Below are a few insights on running effective mentoring programs in a modern workplace.
Understanding The Role Of A Mentor
A true mentor with mentor leadership skills knows the value of mentoring to him and their mentees. Most successful professionals have had help from their senior employees who played their roles as mentors. Now is the time to become a mentor for someone who needs your help and counsel. Having a pool of strong mentors in any organization helps the new employees surmount the most easily avoidable mistakes while getting used to their job responsibilities. Understanding the learning abilities of mentees can simplify the mentorship programs for the mentors. For an organization, a mentor can not only serve as an excellent point of knowledge transfer across various specializations, but also can prevent the next generation employees from making the same mistakes.
A Healthy Mentor-Mentee Relationship Takes Time
Teaching and being taught can be either an engaging adventure or the other way round. Everyone knows what it takes for someone to be successful in their journey. The younger your mentees are, the more time it takes to understand and get along with you. Here are some tips that help mentors to develop a good relationship with their mentees:
Find a mentee whose professional goals resonate with your personal goals.
- Recollect how your mentors started out in your mentoring relationship.
- Find common ground that interconnects your approaches with your mentees.
- Connect with effective leaders in your organization whom you’d aspire to emulate.
- Always reach out to your fellow mentors, ask questions, and share your mentorship journey with them.
- More importantly, connecting with a wide range of valued mentors can be crucial in learning and tackling the common challenges in mentor-mentee relationships.
Offer Constructive Criticism And Practice Empathy
Instead of emulating your mentor who trained you to be who you are now, you can go the extra mile, create a new path, and leave a trail. While mentoring a young and novice employee, it is very much possible to experience specific challenges where you need to be patient and offer meaningful feedback. Here are some simple yet effective pieces of advice a mentor and protégé can take to make their journey exciting and easier:
- Agree on a timetable early in your mentoring program.
- Let the mentee try to fit into the agreed schedule.
- Upgrade the teaching materials so that the mentees develop their soft skills and are aware of the latest technology in their specializations. This transforms the mentees into leadership mentees who can become future mentors.
- Adhere to the meeting schedules and never go back on your word. Let your mentee or mentor know about the challenges that hindered your progress.
- Don’t chase the disengaged mentees. Always remember the old aphorism, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” A successful mentoring relationship is not a one-way street. Only ambitious employees leverage the resources to transform into potential employees who create a positive impact in what they do.
Reverse Mentoring: The Most Interesting And New Leadership Mentoring Trend In 2022
As a recent traction-gaining movement in the mentoring world, reverse mentoring takes the traditional mentoring approach and turns it on its head. With reverse mentoring in place, organizations can connect senior professionals with the next generation of talent to enable them to collaboratively inter-exchange resources for the betterment of mentors and mentees alike.
As different nationalities work together, the need for inclusiveness has gained more importance in the professional network. Inclusiveness is one of the outcomes of valuing diversity through reverse mentoring. Effective mentoring relationships with potential mentors help mentees accelerate growth and professional development. Besides, they help organizations understand the importance of empowering the younger generation who aspire to become effective leaders in the future. Listed below are some irresistible benefits to using reverse mentoring:
- Enables younger team members to develop their communication skills.
- Helps mentors gain new perspectives and generate a conceptual model.
- Provides an excellent opportunity for mentees with novel ideas to work with their more experienced mentors and help them spur responsible leadership growth.
Future-Proofing Young Employees Through Mentoring
When young employees or junior associates enter the next phase of their lives as professionals, learning from their experiences and others' experiences becomes vital. Trust also plays an integral role in their development process. For instance, when you have someone that you can run your thoughts and ideas to, it can greatly help you become better at informed decision-making.
As the future of work looks so promising and convenient, young employees have to be ready for whatever challenges they may need to face to meet their professional goals. And mentoring is an excellent way of showing that you're forwarding in your professional and personal development.
To make your mentoring journey simple and effective, here are some actionable tips for everyone who participates in mentoring programs, from mentors to the organization that sponsors a mentoring program.
Be Prepared For The Challenges
A mentee should never forget that a good mentor is someone who sees your potential not by making you stay in your comfort zone but by challenging you. Being prepared for those challenges is what makes you develop an everlasting relationship with your mentor and leadership skills. Oftentimes, the key to contributing to your career growth is adapting to new environments and accepting constructive criticism.
Listening Is Learning
Learning from someone's experience is something not everyone can afford. People who lack professional mentors learn from their mistakes. With a good mentor in place, both mentees and companies can benefit from their mistakes and ideas. And, it is true that mentees are not known for listening. When mentees try to listen more, instead of interrupting during a conversation, mentors can seamlessly spend more time with their mentees. Listening helps you develop important soft skills such as patience and perseverance.
Expand Your Network
Once the mentorship programs end, it is all about creating and expanding a robust professional network. Powerful opportunities come from strong networks. Especially in this time of uncertainty, opportunities may seem far-fetched to some because of work from home and hybrid work schedules. So reaching out to the right person in your workplace strengthens your networking skills and develops potential connections.
Tapping The Untapped Potential Through Mentorship
From creating meaningful connections to developing responsible leadership skills, mentoring programs are powerful tools that interconnect everyone who participates. With the help of new virtual mentoring platforms, mentors, mentees, and organizations can leverage their mentorship and quality training programs with new strategies and learning methods.
This ongoing pandemic has shone a light on the importance of agile workplace and business operations. Not only can this be implemented to alter business strategies to prioritize the well-being of organization, but this can also help reimagine the mentoring programs.
Ever since the pandemic started, many companies across the globe have adopted modern technologies and new ideas to accustom to this new normal. Mentoring programs are no exception. In fact, organizations need mentoring programs now more than ever, as many employees feel alienated, trapped in their homes, and struggling to maintain a work-life balance. Mentoring can be a great alternative in connecting the employees with each other.
With no connection, there will seldom be any creativity and advancements, one of the jarring impacts of the pandemic on employees. Creating an engaging and employee-centered mentoring program is the only way to supercharge the whole organization with a fun-loaded learning and growing process.
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