The Business Lifebelt
There are many people in business today that do not fully understand the benefits of “mentoring”; which, if delivered correctly can have a huge impact on an employee who in turn, once motivated by “the magic of mentoring” will deliver significant benefits for their business.
Sadly there are businesses that see ‘mentoring’ as something ‘soft and fluffy’… a ‘nice to have’. Whereas the truth is that mentoring can be a magical ‘business lifebelt’, saving its senior managers from drowning in a sea of inexperience.
There are those who believe that ‘mentoring’ and ‘coaching’ is actually the same thing. Though related, they are not the same. A mentor may coach, but a coach does not mentor. There is a subtle difference;
Mentoring vs. Coaching
Coaching is task oriented. The focus is on concentrated issues, such as managing more effectively, speaking more articulately, or learning how to think strategically. This requires a content expert (coach) who is capable of teaching the coachee how to develop these skills.
Mentoring is development driven. Its purpose is to develop the individual (mentee) not only for the current job, but also for the future.
Mentoring is about ensuring that the mentee becomes:
* More self aware
* Takes responsibility for their career and….
* Directs their life and career in the direction they decide….
* Rather than leaving it to chance
The mentor’s role is to:
* Ask questions and challenge, while providing guidance and encouragement
* Mentoring allows the mentee to look more closely at themselves, their issues, opportunities and what they want in life and from their career.
Old Head vs. Young Shoulders
It is often said that you cannot buy experience; in other words you cannot put an older, wiser, more experienced head on young shoulders – you have to have been through life’s experiences to truly claim that you are ‘experienced’.
What mentoring does is utilize the experience of another to help (generally somebody younger than the mentor) to learn and develop by gaining insights from sharing the experiences of somebody more experienced, seasoned and senior…..the mentor.
Different Mentoring Profiles
There are of course many different mentoring style and types. The breakdown when it comes to age, experience and generations breaks down like this:
The ‘Traditionalist’ – The Retired Executive Mentor
Traditionalists were born between the years 1922 – 1943. These older and more experienced individuals have a respect for the rules, are fans of conformity and can be frugal minded. Technology for them is sometimes hard to grasp as unlike younger generations, they did not grow up with mobile devices, computers or even, in some cases, any electrical household appliances.
What they do have however is a lifetimes worth of knowledge and experience to share; and it would a foolhardy mentee that writes off the value of a traditionalist mentor. Many ‘traditionalists mentors’ go on to sit on business boards and/or come non-executives for this very reason.
The ‘Baby Boomer’ Mentor
So called as they are regarded as the ‘post war babies’ being born between the years 1944 – 1960 these workaholics are optimistic yet silent, seeking personal gratification. Calculators and paper calendars are second nature to this age group; many of whom would never be seen without their note-filled pads.
In today’s marketplace these experienced individuals make perfect mentors because not only do they have the required life skills and experience but they are also used to managing change because they have lived and breathed it during their lifetime.
The Generation X Mentor
Generation X was born between the years 1961 – 1980. This generation is seen as self-reliant and often referred to as former latch key kids who are results oriented and fun. Regarded as realists because they will have given their heart and soul to a company; seeing their job as a job for life. They too have seen and experienced much change over their careers and can offer mentees useful insights into the way businesses have evolved and changed.
Which Groups Can Benefit?
The lower age groups of Generation X, and those that fall within Generation Y, are the two groups that stand to gain the most from mentoring. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that somebody that falls within the lower age bracket of Generation X straddles the boundaries of being both a mentor and a mentee; this of course would very much be dependent of the new skills and knowledge that the mentor has coupled with what the mentee personally requires.
Generation Y was born between the years 1981 – 2000. These tech savvy, highly socially conscious upwardly mobile folk now represent the majority of today’s workforce. They are competitive and confident. This group is the new gold standard when it comes to courting, recruiting and engaging the employees and future employees for tomorrows workplace.
Generation Z was born between 2001 to present. These future employees and mentee are digital natives a 1,000 times over. Their likely first sentence is possibly….. “Where is the iPad?”
Mentoring for the future … Follow me
How will employers grab the attention of these self-reliant and activities oriented employees and potential mentee in the future? Hopefully by ensuring that before generations X and Y drop off the edge that these mentees in waiting will have gained experienced from some form of mentoring thus ensuring that their business is business ready to pass on all the skills and knowledge that they have learn along the way!
Mentoring – The Benefits
Mentoring is so beneficial on so many levels; not least of which:
* Businesses benefit from employees with boarder, more rounded perspectives
* Employees benefit from a unique personal 1+1 form of personal development
* Mentors benefit from ‘giving something back’ by being able to share their wealth of knowledge and experience
Bespoke Diagnostic Toolkit
At Partners in Solutions we mentor individuals of all ages from a broad range of businesses backgrounds; working closely with our clients we start the process using our unique bespoke diagnostic toolkit, following this through with clear and robust mentoring methods that demonstrably produce results.
The Magic of Mentoring
If you or your team would like to learn more about “the magic of mentoring” for self development or how to introduce mentoring into your business for better business results then please contact us today either by using the comment box below or via the ‘contact page’ on our website.
Partners in Solutions Ltd