Mentoring relationships: 3 ways to maximize for success

Monday, November 23, 2015

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Most people can agree that having a good mentor can have a tremendous impact on your career. Mentors provide support and encouragement that often can’t be found from coworkers or friends. Finding an effective mentor and maximizing that relationship can be the key to your success.

BE OPEN TO ALL AGES.

Conventional wisdom would have us believe that your mentor should be significantly older than you. My mentor is only two years older than me and her experiences have tracked very closely to my own – which is part of what makes her insights so relevant to me. Now that I’m more established in my career, I’ve also looked to younger people for support. I would challenge you to be open to mentoring relationships of all ages. This recent article also speaks to how to include younger people in your mentoring mix.

KEEP IN MIND THAT MENTORING IS A TWO-WAY STREET.

It feels good to have a mentor looking out for you and providing encouragement, but it also feels good to make a connection and form a relationship. Honor that relationship by being respectful of your mentor’s time. Also, think of what you have to offer your mentor. Many mentors will tell you that they get just as much out of the mentoring relationship as they give.

DON’T DISCOUNT MOM OR DAD.

Our parents typically shape and mentor us in our lives in general, and while many times we seek out their advice, we often ignore their work wisdom. My dad enjoyed a 43-year business career and has pretty much seen and done it all in the workplace. His advice and counsel has helped me navigate my own career and I definitely could not be where I am today without his mentorship. He may not be as objective as a non-family member, but he knows his stuff!

Experience is key, but the heart can be most important in the mentoring relationship. At Intrinzic, we believe in the power of human connections and we believe in the power of mentoring relationships. Tell us about yours. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter via @IntrinzicSays.