Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

I always wished someone had thought me what I know now, so I didn’t need to learn life and office politics the hard way.

Needless to say, mentors are hard to come by and it is difficult for women and minorities to find mentors in powerful positions.

However, achieving success without a mentor is possible but having one will definitively make your life easier.

Wondering how to score the perfect mentor or perfect mentee?

Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

What is mentorship?

Mentorship is usually the realization of leadership. It is similar to tutorship, to parenthood, to partnership, or to an alliance.

To simplify, mentorship is basically an often exclusive work relationship between two people who are willing to learn from each other and to grow with each other.

Furthermore, mentorship is built on reciprocity and commitment. It requires trust, loyalty, personal empowerment, respect, effective time management, and resistance to social pressures.

Most mentorship are informal and naturally happen in the workplace. However, they can take place in your personal life.

If you are looking for a mentor…

You have to be able to effectively manage yourself, to handle all responsibilities and to not self-sabotage.

Are you ready for mentorship?

To prepare yourself for mentorship and to make yourself attractive to a mentor, you must develop your skills and your character on your own:

  • Keep a positive attitude and be open to learn.
  • Have goals and ambition.
  • Learn to build relationships, to handle office politics, pressures and failures.
  • Humble demonstrate your character and your smarts.
  • Take calculated risks.

Benefits to having a mentor

Mentorship provides the mentee, the learner or the protégé with:

  • Insights into the corporate culture, sound advice and ongoing feedback.
  • Leadership skills and increased job performance.
  • An ability to adapt to change.
  • More independence, more experiences, more challenges, more success and opportunities for evolution.
  • Appropriate jobs and roles in regards to your strengths.
  • Increased visibility, access to responsibilities and high positions.
  • Higher pay.
  • Emotional support, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, higher self-esteem, better focus, stronger confidence.

How to find a mentor?

You must not wait to be chosen by a mentor: you should make the first move. To find a mentor:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify your goals and make sure that they align with those of your future mentor.
  • Handle your career on your own, manage your own reputation, gain pertinent skills, work on yourself and on your goals first before seeking help.
  • Verify the role and status of the person of interest. The person must not necessarily be your supervisor, must not work at the same company or have the same position. Make sure that your mentor has exceptional skills, is well read, is self-aware and is always on the path of self-improvement.
  • Observe your mentor’s behavior and character to ensure that you will get along with them and look up to.
  • Test your mentor’s ability to handle work then ask for help.
  • Get to know your mentor on a personal level and keep in touch from time to time.
  • Seek understanding and accept mentorship influence.
  • Learn to keep secrets.

If you looking to be a mentor…

You must be willing to share your experiences, to be authentic, protective, fair, positive, patient and confident.

Mentors are motivators, are able to create strong relationships, are part of a powerful network, demonstrate exemplary leadership behavior, have influence, dedicate themselves to people, take risks, give sound advice, and give credit when it’s due.

Benefits to being a mentor

Being a mentor is rewarding and is an illustrious position. In a mentorship relationship, everyone benefits from each other’s success and brings equal goods to the table.

On one hand, mentors are able to share their life experiences, to share great work tips, to provide different perspectives, to retain the best employees and to improve the workplace. They can delegate work to a trusted employee, bridge the generational gap, get to work with different people and get more free time to themselves.

On another hand, without being part of your organization, mentees are able to positively impact the mentor’s image, reputation, forces them to sharpen their skills and to improve their work-life balance. Mentees keep their mentors in touch with their organization, up to date with their technical skills

Finally, mentorship is fulfilling because mentors are able to leave a legacy, to make their mark.

How to select a mentee?

The perfect mentee does not exist.

  • Be open to mentorship proposals early in life and early in your career
  • Observe if they have potential
  • Verify the mentee is curious, eager to learn and open to change
  • Verify that they are willing to put in the work

How to be a mentor?

To be the best mentor you can be:

  • Be a role-model.
  • Find out what you and your mentee want to achieve.
  • Set realistic expectations about the job and help them clarify their goals.
  • Find your most convenient mentorship and leadership style.
  • Know how to navigate most challenging situations.
  • Give support whenever you can, have an open door policy, respond to the needs and goals of your mentee.
  • Show appreciation and show that their opinions matter.
  • Give your mentee time to grow, time to commit and time to develop their skills.
  • Open up your network to the mentee and give direct access to success.
  • Don’t mold the mentee in your image and understand that they are their own person.
  • Incorporate mentoring programs in your organization if you can.
  • Let go of the mentee if your goals don’t align anymore and if the mentee has outgrown you.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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Empowering Your Team & Retaining Talent

Keeping a job for a lifetime at the same company is no longer a concern for employees. Nowadays, most employees are looking to explore, to evolve professionally, to grow personally and do not depend on one company to do so. 

With the amount of layoffs in the last generation, employees have learnt to mistrust leaders and corporations. They no longer feel empowered, committed, engaged, aligned with their organization or no longer think that leaders have their best interest at heart.

However, good employees are needed to reach company goals. Leaders should be concerned when several good employees leave in a matter of weeks, when employees start performing poorly, act disengaged, take too many sick leaves, skip meetings, arrive late, are unmotivated, are overworked, unproductive or underpaid.

Wondering what are the strategies and tactics to empower your team, to maintain a trust climate, increase employee alignment and retain talent?

Empowering Your Team & Retaining Talent

What is employee empowerment?

Employee empowerment is a loosely used term.

It mostly designates the way people feel about themselves at work, the ease with which they are able to use their strengths, to freely demonstrate their talents, to achieve their purpose, to find meaning and satisfaction in their jobs.

It also stems from their ability to feel productive, confident and in control in the workplace.

Furthermore, employee empowerment is a leadership style. Leaders must feel empowered in order to empower. Indeed, they must be able to maintain self-confidence, to manage their time, to gain influence, to effectively communicate, to listen, to reach their goals and to be open to learn.

In addition, an empowered employee doesn’t need permission to do his or her work, to create an appropriate process, to control the outcomes of his or her work, to develop a personal scope.

On the other hand, employees who are disempowered don’t openly critique the organization, don’t make open suggestions, don’t challenge the status quo, don’t know what is expected of them, and are often blindsided. When employees don’t feel empowered, they tend to leave.

What are the challenges of employee empowerment?

Deciding to quit is a long process that can be triggered by various traumatic, memorable and emotional events:

  • Lack of empowerment, of recognition, validation or compensation.
  • Lack of career opportunities and possibilities of growth.
  • Lack of challenge. This creates boredom, a need for a career change and a need for more responsibility.
  • Lack of purpose. In this case, employees feel like they are not operating at their maximum potential, that their strengths are not properly used, that their jobs don’t have meaning and don’t bring them satisfactionWork constitutes an important part of your life. Therefore, making it meaningful and empowering is necessary.
  • Career disillusionment. Employees feel like their career path is not as they believed it to be.
  • Workplace toxicity and leader’s unethical behavior. Workplace toxicity comes from the fact that core values and trust have not been instilled. This can result in being influenced, in spreading toxic behavior, in feelings of being marginalized or harassed.
  • Aggressive office politics.
  • Poor communication with higher-ups.
  • Work-life imbalance and lack of flexible hours.
  • Change in personal situation (health, family, …).
  • New sudden career opportunities.

Should you hold back employees who want to leave?

Retaining young employees is the most difficult because they need more care, more validation and more training.

To increase employee engagement and to compete for talents, most organizations resort to quick fixes that provide short them results. It is essential to:

  • Accept that employees are going to leave no matter what.
  • Accept that employees who are leaving are sure about their decision.
  • Accept that the decision to leave is potentially connected to your behavior, to the company’s policy and culture.
  • Hire appropriate employees for the job in the first place by directly asking them about their needs.
  • Conduct an employee exit interview and ask your employees why they want to leave. Doing so will help you fix recurring problems within the organization and reduce employee turnover.

How to empower employees and prevent them from leaving?

To decrease employee turnover, leaders must change their mindset and rethink the company culture. Empowerment can lead to higher levels of commitment, innovation, motivation, more productivity and better relationships.

  • Determine your core values. Have enough integrity to share and demonstrate your values.
  • Be an example, demonstrate the benefits of empowerment, act ethically and a teacher to your team.
  • Assess and improve your communication style.
  • Be fair at all times and don’t pick favorites.
  • Learn to cope with change. Don’t expect immediate change and the change you envisioned.
  • Build an environment that promotes inclusiveness and unity. For example, remove the traditional organizational structures to improve communication among workers.
  • Value your employees and their expertise.
  • Listen to your employees. Ask them for advice, let them speak freely and truly consider their responses.
  • Share your vision and your story with your team in order to motivate them towards a unique goal and to check if they align with it.
  • Set high but achievable expectations for your team. Let them know about it.
  • Clearly define everyone’s activities so they don’t step on other people’s toes.
  • Help your employees identify their purpose, even if their calling is not in the organization. It would be more rewarding for them and more effective for you to remove them from the team and give them some indication of an ideal career path.
  • Increase your employees awareness. Share information about organizational policies, processes, structures, standards, decisions.
  • Involve your employees in the decision-making process
  • Learn to delegate. There is nothing more frustrating than a leader who micromanages, who needs to approve every stage of the process, who doesn’t think that their team can have the workload without them.
  • Encourage people to take initiative and to solve their own problems.
  • Give your employees autonomy and more ownership of their work. Give them the freedom to reach the company’s objectives.
  • Allow people to take risks and to make mistakes.
  • Increase accountability and avoid the blame game at all cost, especially when something goes wrong.
  • Recognize, reward your employees and show appreciation for the work that your team puts in. Help them understand that their contributions at work have a real impact.
  • Request and provide feedback often. Give credit when it is due, provide coaching and training.
  • Have an open door policy, if possible.
  • Help your employees grow professionally and personally. Allow them to succeed and be the best. Make them look good and they will reward you with good work
  • Increase benefits, avoid overwork, allow flexible hours and leaves of absence.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.