At some time in our careers, all of us seek mentors. We are aware that success depends on finding a great mentor. Employees eventually find mentors, whether it's through structured or informal mentorship programmes. However, because few organizations support running mentorship programmes, the process of choosing a mentor is typically informal.
No matter how long a mentoring relationship lasts, it's crucial to realize that it passes through distinct phases. Each stage should be given the same amount of importance because it helps the relationship as a whole succeed. Depending on the mentor-mentee connection, the amount of time spent on each stage may vary, but they all proceed in the same way.
Let’s discuss the four stages of mentorship that is significant for mentor and mentee.
Whenever you meet someone for the first time, you are not going to be comfortable with them or figure out if they are aligning with your thoughts or not. Similarly, when you meet a mentor it takes time to know each other, two people with different goals and experiences are bound to have communication issues and some confusion. What is it that you can do? First, of all You both need to accept the fact that it will take time to adjust to the new relationship.
In such cases, mentors have to come forward, create efforts for building the foundation of the relationship. It can be initiated through these steps -
1. Mentors can share their ideas, and act as a resource for new ideas
2. Know each other on an individual basis
3. Practice consistency from being sincere to guiding your mentee
Two years back I was working with a client, he was also my mentor at that time. After we had a few discussion meetings, we worked on the strategies along with that we worked on our communication and the phrases that we decided to avoid. We both set the deadlines for the required work and the editing process, we used to have weekly discussion calls, and because it was a first for both of us, we decided to share the responsibilities, if it was not sustainable for me, I asked for some time so that I can mentally prepare myself.
Eventually, we started aligning with each other goals and everything went on smoothly for 7 months. After 7 months I had my saturation point and we mutually decided to part ways.
I shared the above incident with you so that you can understand, that parting ways with your mentor is completely normal. You simply keep exploring and meet with mentors that you think will be absolutely suitable for you.
Now that trust has been established, growth is the next step. The parties begin their efforts to accomplish the objectives established in the earlier phases. Now is the ideal time for the mentee to learn something new.
The mentor gradually develops into the mentee's confidant, leader, advisor, and—possibly most importantly—friend.
Additionally, the mentor must be truthful with the mentee. They must provide their clients with empowering feedback, even if it is occasionally brutally honest. An important tool in a mentor-mentee relationship is feedback. The client needs to be aware of whether they are heading in the right direction and, if not, what they need to do.
It's time to terminate the mentoring connection because it has already accomplished its goals. It's important to highlight that termination can also happen for other reasons, including conflicts, betrayal of trust, poor accountability, etc
The parties have the chance to assess their accomplishments at this stage. The mentor might also pose some inquiries. What did you take away from our time together, for instance? Do you want to keep in touch? etc. The conclusion could also include a joyous occasion, like a group snapshot or a cup of coffee. The parties may also choose to keep in touch as friends without being bound by a formal agreement.
I remember when I enrolled myself in a course and after the course was completed, my mentor and I decided to keep in touch and we still take out time to discuss the challenges that we are facing in our career and personal life.
Cherish the relationship
Today we discussed the 4 stages of mentoring and how mentor and mentee can move along stages to transform this into an effective mentoring relationship. Now, you must understand that everyone has their own pace, Nobody is moving too swiftly or slowly. It’s just their experience and their preferences that they are following. As you move to the next stage you will develop your own understanding of your relationship and trust me that is the best thing.
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