You only know as much as you know. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Most people do not acknowledge this, especially those struggling to succeed in life. However, once this fact is acknowledged, there is an opportunity to step outside yourself and seek the help of another to further your professional life. That outside person is a mentor.
Role Models and Fresh Perspectives
According to the American Society for Training and Development, 75% of executives say mentoring is an important element for career development. We are social creatures after all, so turning to a trusted advisor who provides valuable knowledge, insight and encouragement can be an essential element for professional success.
Why? Because a good mentor will “tell it to you straight”, while encouraging you to be better. However, do not mistake a mentor for someone that has all the answers and whose job it is to tell you what to do. You must fully engage, by being honest with yourself and sharing those insights with your mentor, and most importantly fully listening to your mentor by asking questions. In other words, a beneficial mentoring relationship involves give and take.
Overall, mentors are career coaches who help you make decisions and improve by:
- Sharing their personal experiences and problem-solving successes and failures
- Identifying and pointing out strengths and weakness and how to utilize them for specific situations
- Helping you see the difference between perception and reality
- Making introductions to key people outside your current network of contacts
- Encouraging you to stay the course or change course, if needed, during difficulties
Paying it Forward
Now that you’ve had a mentor, it’s time to “pay it forward”. While a mentee/mentor relationship should never really end, there is a valuable opportunity to use your experience to help someone else successfully navigate their professional journey. Seeing the struggles of someone just starting out or trying to transition into a new field or career is a valuable way to stay in tune with those around you. Not only will you be a better leader to employees within your organization, mentoring provides much-needed insight into the struggles of customers/clients/organizations you partner with on a day-to-day basis.
After all, the mentor was actively once seeking help and insight beyond their personal knowledge base. Mentoring is an important reminder that no one knows all the answers. Therefore, a mentor can keep growing and evolving professionally too.
Timothy Dimoff Can Help You Make a Difference in Your Professional Life
Successful people are not born successful. They have adopted habits allowing them to form lasting relationships and meaningful interactions with others. Contact Tim to schedule his Habits of Successful People or What You Need to Know for Personal or Professional Success presentations and move forward in your professional life this year!