Mentorship is the process of supervising and guiding by a mentor for the improvement of particular projects. A mentor is someone with knowledge and experience, who provides valuable inputs and advice. The person receiving the advice is the mentee.
What Is The Purpose of Mentorship?
The purpose of mentorship is to gain knowledge and insight into the workings of a profession, business, or any other field. The mentee approaches a mentor because they want to improve their prospects in their respective fields.
Mentorship has become more important in entrepreneurship, as new businesses need capital and intellectual investment. The mentor proves to be helpful by guiding the company in the right direction because of their prior experience.
4 Techniques of Mentoring
As with any field, mentoring too, is based on certain principles that make it more effective. A mentor uses some established techniques to make mentees understand the importance of the process. Some of the typical mentorship techniques are:
Mentoring by demonstrating – in this technique, the mentor performs the activity to show the possible outcomes in real time. The mentee gets a live demonstration of how to achieve their goals.
Mentoring by teaching – the mentor shares their experiences and skills in this technique. Mentors have in-depth knowledge of their jobs and experience in their field. Hence, they are in a position to impart useful information to the mentee.
Mentoring by motivating – another technique of mentoring is by inspiring and influencing the mentee. Encouraging the mentee to pursue their goals provides the much-needed push to be more productive.
Side-by-side mentoring – the mentor works alongside the mentee in this technique. Thus, the mentor corrects and advises the mentee along the way, which provides instant feedback and helps the mentee to overcome their mistakes.
Types of Mentoring
Mentoring can be of various kinds depending on the needs of the organisation. Hence, to be effective, the correct type of mentorship process should be employed to extract maximum benefits out of it. Some common forms of mentoring as as follows:
Individual mentoring – this is the traditional kind of mentorship where there is one mentor and one mentee. The mentor usually takes an interest in a particular individual and trains them. So there is greater engagement as it is a one-to-one interaction.
Mentoring in groups -this is where there is one mentor while the mentees comprise a group of individuals. The mentor conducts sessions with the group and imparts essential knowledge. It is a good way to upskill employees in an organisation.
Online mentoring – this is a recent form of mentorship because of the popularity of the digital medium. Since covid, virtual mentoring has become more popular because it helps boost the productivity and morale of employees in the absence of personal interactions.
Peer mentoring – at times mentors work together to share knowledge and experience as equals. In the typical mentor-mentee relationship, the mentor is more superior and experienced than the mentee. But peer mentoring occurs between people on the same plane who wish to share their expertise.
Reverse mentoring – usually the mentor is a senior, more experienced person than the mentee. Sometimes, a junior or younger person could also mentor more senior members of the organisation to help fill the gaps in knowledge. An example of this is social media where relatively younger people have mentored the more experienced members.
Skills of A Good Mentor
It is important for mentors to have certain skills that places them in a better position to act as mentors. As mentorship is a process of knowledge exchange and skill transfer, it becomes important for the mentor to have the skills to perform these functions. Some of the skills of a good mentor are:
In-depth knowledge and experience – a good mentor possesses very good knowledge in their field. It is through their experience and long-standing in the field that a mentor is able to guide others well.
Identifying goals – a good mentor is able to identify the goals that have to be achieved by the organisation. Naturally then, the process of mentorship should be directed towards achieving those goals.
Good communication – a good mentor should havethe art of good communication because the ultimate goal of mentorship is to share knowledge and experience with others. Good interpersonal skills facilitate knowledge sharing.
Providing feedback – it is very important for a good mentor to provide correct feedback. Feedback helps identify the problems and fills in the gaps in knowledge. It is also important for assessing the success of a mentorship programme.
Ability to inspire – mentorship is about inspiring people to work harder and become more efficient in their work. A good mentor thinks about innovative ways to make the sessions interesting so that people are encouraged to perform better.
Benefits of Mentorship
Every organisation has employees who specialise in their fields but mentorship is useful even when there are specialised people because it adds value to their skills. While mentorship helps solve real time problems by using practical skills, it also leads to upskilling of employees and provides more experience that helps to boost productivity.
Some of the benefits of mentorship are listed below:
Skill development – mentorship programmes are designed to train mentees to improve their skill set. So, the mentors share ways of becoming more productive and efficient, which helps in personal and professional development of the mentees.
Filling the gaps in knowledge – mentors are usually people who have had a long career and are very successful. Such people can provide constructive advice and help in enhancing the knowledge base of the mentees.
Transfer of expertise – mentorship provides an effective way of transferring expertise from the mentor to the mentee. The mentor, through various methods like group activity, lectures or problem-solving activities, imparts expertise to the mentees
Problem resolution – the knowledge and experience that mentors have enables them to identify problems in an organisation and find solutions. Thanks to their skill set, the mentors provide innovative and effective answers which help in the growth of the organisation.
Mentorship is significant because it is a way of improving an organisation’s productivity. A good mentor helps to identify the problems and motivates people to work on finding solutions. A mentor helps in skill transfer and improves the knowledge of the mentees. This ultimately works to benefit the company and its workforce. Therefore, mentorship is significant as it helps in the overall development of an organisation.