“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey
Do you remember a situation when you had a hard decision to make; even though you felt like you didn’t have the required experience? Was there anyone by your side to support and guide you and help manage the situation? If not, just imagine how much easier it would be if you had the chance to discuss everything with a person worthy of your trust and respect…
It’s hard to imagine anything more reassuring than someone who offers experience and expertise in your hour of need; reminding you of your values and qualities as you progress your personal or professional journey. But alongside this, we also need role models to help equip ourselves with the individual skills needed to aid and develop our own learning, which ultimately lead to improved performance in the workplace.
Most people are generally unable to define which knowledge they lack. Reid Hoffmann, the co-founder of LinkedIn, once said: “Founding a start-up is like throwing yourself off a cliff and trying to assemble an airplane on your way down.” A mentor is a person who has already assembled such planes and is now ready to help a newcomer do the same. As well as the transferral of critical business knowledge and skills, mentoring helps to develop a pipeline of future leaders who understand the skills and attitudes required to succeed within the company.
Increase your resilience and realise your full potential at work
It’s no secret that women think differently than men! Despite having the skills and adequate qualifications to succeed in our chosen career, we sometimes question our own abilities. As stated by Vittoria Adhami, a professional life coach, in an interview: “Men feel positive about being able to do the job until they are told they can’t. Women start with thinking they cannot do it until they are told they are doing a good job.”
Whilst women in business tend to be less confident on their path to success and leadership, experience has proven that through encouragement from a valued mentor we can learn how to overcome these difficulties - which may ultimately affect our success and progress towards our professional development and advancement.
This is especially relevant for women in managing positions willing to succeed in a male dominant environment and those entitled to increased visibility and recognition within a company.
Mentorships offer many advantages, especially as the role of a mentor is not to actually tell you what to do, but rather to enable you to realise your own potential and transfer advice, knowledge and insights. A good mentor isn’t going to advise you step by step; rather the relationship will inspire you to find new ideas and approaches, helping you build character and develop moral strength whilst boosting self-confidence.