Imagine going through life without friends? That’s what a career would be like without a mentor, says Lauren Fried of Pulse Collective.
Mentoring is a process of an “experience share”, says Fried. A mentor’s role is to advise the individual by saying, “hey this happened to me”, or “I have a business colleague who experienced this”, and they provide avenues for individuals to contemplate and work out opportunities and evaluate their pros and cons. They potentially highlight issues that may arise, but ultimately their role is to suggest and not make final decisions for the individual they are mentoring.
The great thing about mentoring is that it can be tailored to your needs. Every mentor has their own style just as every individual has different requirements for a mentor.
Having a mentor can be a formal process where by an individual meets with their mentor on a weekly (or regularly scheduled) basis to discuss the needs of the individual’s business.
Mentors and their protégées can also meet as and when the individual needs advice, sometimes, particular advice. These meetings could occur regularly for a certain period of time to guide an individual through a particular project or when an issue arises and a business leader needs an objective viewpoint.
Other individuals may only meet with their mentor to establish goals and then meet again once those goals have been achieved.
As with mentoring styles, every mentor has their own reasons and purpose for mentoring. Whilst it is a value exchange, many don’t do it for financial gain, such as Lauren. However both parties will get something out of it.
Now, I know you’re thinking, “but I am not an executive or on the road to being a business tycoon”…. Let me assure you, I am most definitely in that category. But after my chat with Lauren, I am starting to change my mind. You don’t need to justify why you need one. When I asked Lauren if mentoring should be available to the wider community, her response was absolutely yes. Everyone should have a mentor. We all have issues, thoughts and problems that we feel we can’t share with our colleagues, friends or family. A mentor offers you the opportunity to spring board and offload that percentage of information you feel you are unable to share in your regular circles.