Mentorship is a relationship. It is generally shared by at least two people. And we think it’s one of the most important kinds of relationship you can enjoy. For that we are going to talk about the benefits of having a mentor.
Have you mentored someone or been mentored by someone? If so, then these are obvious truths to you. You’d be surprised, however, by how many people haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy mentorship.
Many insist that mentorship is designed exclusively for the mentee. But anyone who has actually been a mentor before will tell you that mentorship couldn’t be more mutually beneficial.
Mentorship is not exclusively for the mentee. Mentorship is for both parties involved. This means there are asset both to the mentee and to the mentor. In this post, we focus on five benefits of having a mentor.
There’s a lot about ourselves that we fail to notice. Author and science journalist, summarizes this point very nicely:
By entering into a mentorship relationship, you discover your blindspots; you come to notice what you’ve been failing to notice.
You can be a mentee of a famous author, your entrepreneurial hero, or your supervisor. The beauty about being a mentee in today’s age is you’ve got access to thousands of mentors from books and podcasts.
While you can’t replace human-to-human connection with these versions of mentorship, these versions of mentorship can still help us in immense ways.
Authors help us to see our blind spots; podcasters help us to see our blindspots. But the person who’s interacting with you on a regular basis, the person who has a front-row seat to your professional life—this person can help you discover your blindspots unlike anyone else.
In being mentored, you expose yourself to different perspectives.
Something companies value very highly in their team members is their ability to see things from different perspectives. Having a multiplicity of perspectives on a team is what enables incredible acts of innovation.
Homogeneity —i.e. when everything is essentially the same—is a threat to innovation.
Placing yourself in relationships with mentors, people who offer you their unique perspective and insight, grants you a diversified perspective over the course of time.
This, you will find, is extraordinarily valuable.
Get into Univa a community where you find mentors to learn and share
Failing is easy. Everyone does it. In fact, you’ll do it without even trying.
Failing well, on the other hand? This is very difficult. This takes effort.
What’s the difference between failing and failing well? In short, the difference comes down to what happens as a result of your failing.
Did the failing act bring your work to an end? Did it strip you of all your motivation and drive? Then perhaps you failed in the first sense.
Did you learn from the failure and use what you learned to keep going, to keep striving after your goals? This is what it means to fail well. Your failure was for something; not for nothing.
The third benefit of being mentored is failing well. A good mentor will help you make something of your failures. They’ll pay special attention to them, encourage them as a necessary part of growth, and help you learn from them.
The fourth benefit of having a mentor is hopefully an obvious one: you expand your network.
Any recruiter today will tell you that having a network is the most important part of finding your next job. You remember the old say, “it’s all about who you know”? Well, it turns out this is as true now as ever before. It might even be more important now.
Think about it, because of the wide-reaching use of the internet, you’re now competing with more people for that job you really want than you would have been in any past historical moment.
While this is an incredible feature for our economy, it can be a daunting reality for the young professional trying to find a job.
Why being a mentee is so crucial? Your network expands, even if just by one person at a time; and you’ve got someone else who knows you and your work, even if they’re not your direct supervisor.
The fifth and final benefit of having a mentor is the leading reason people pursue mentorship in the first place: you grow. A more precise way to put this point, however, is that you can grow.
Mentorship doesn’t always necessarily lead to growth. And this could be for a variety of different reasons.
Maybe you’re a dogmatic mentee: you don’t adopt views other than your own, perhaps you’re a prideful mentee: you’re always right, everyone else is always wrong o could be you’re an insecure mentee: all constructive feedback feels like an insult to your character.
You might want to take some time now to consider whether any of these kinds of mentees define you in any way. Do you have a mentor now? We dare you to ask them for their perspective.
Experiencing growth as a mentee requires two specific attitudes.
You must want growth.
You must be open to feedback.
By wanting to grow, you accept that you’re limited in certain ways. You also acknowledge the reality that moving towards your goals is likely going to take “someone on the outside” so to speak to help you move in that direction.
And all of this assumes that you’re open to feedback. Do you cringe every time someone offers constructive comments on your projects, your ideas or even how you come across in your communication?
It’s okay; cringing under those conditions is quite normal. But don’t let the cringe stifle the hunger for growth. Learn to tolerate the cringe.
With mentorship comes these cringe moments, and with these cringe moments comes growth. And this is what we’re about at Harness: the growth of you and your community.
We see the value of mentorship and its centrality to progress forward, so we’ve made it an essential part of our platforms. We hope you’ll make mentorship an essential part of your innovative endeavors.
Your innovativeness may depend on it. Do you have another benefit of having a mentor? Tell us.
Internationally known psychologist, Daniel Goleman, has become a legend in the realm of emotional intelligence (EQ). Though he wasn’t necessarily the first to say things