A mentoring relationship is one of the most powerful developmental relationships that can exist between two individuals. Mentoring has its roots in trade apprenticeships, which originated hundreds of years ago. Businesses began to recognize mentoring’s power to enrich the skills and knowledge of their employees in the late 1960's. Since then, mentoring has been an important component of employee development.
The impact of mentoring is incredible. Here, mentors and mentorees alike speak about its power to transform:
- “For the first time I more clearly understood the challenges women face in this industry and it changed my own interaction with women from that moment on”, reports a mentor in a financial institution.
- “Without having my mentor to discuss some of the challenges I was facing as a new employee, I’m not sure I would have remained with the company”, reports a mentoree in the defense industry.
- “I wanted to help someone else and realized that in doing so, I gained as much, if not more, by mentoring someone,” reports a mentor in a utilities company.
- "By my mentor sharing their experiences of failure and lack of self-confidence, I gained a renewed sense of my own abilities and gained greater self-confidence”, reports a mentoree in the insurance industry.
These are just samples of what mentors and mentorees experience in mentoring. Whether wishing to share one’s background and experience or whether seeking to grow and take risks under the guidance of a mentor, mentoring, when done correctly, has the power to dramatically impact partners not only during the mentoring relationship but beyond. It is this kind of experience that draws both mentors and mentorees to engage in such relationships.
Many definitions of mentoring are used in literature for mentoring professionals. We use a simple definition coined by Michael Zey in his book, The Mentor Connection:
“Mentoring is a developmental relationship whereby a mentor oversees the career and development of another person (mentoree)…through teaching, counseling, providing psychological support, protecting and, at times, promoting and sponsoring.”
Although many people have a basic understanding of the concept of mentoring, there are various models and approaches that have unique characteristics.
If you would like to learn more about mentoring and the value a business mentoring program can have on your company's success, download our free white paper 5 Ways Mentoring Can Help Your Company. And as always, if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Management Mentors directly.
Image Credit: © Yuri Arcurs | Dreamstime.com