Posted: Fri 21st Oct 2022
For those of you who have had mentoring in various aspects of your life and work, you probably have an answer to the above, and will maybe be nodding your head thinking about the positive and maybe not-so-positive outcomes during the time spent being mentored.
The concept of mentoring goes way back to the time of Odysseus, in 8th-century Greece, where the character of Mentor nurtures and supports Telemachus, Odysseus's son.
It further became common practice in the Middle Ages, eventually beginning to be recognised as an important tool in the development of business executives in the 1970s.
The need for mentoring increased over time, and it's now perceived and accepted as a relevant way to help with individual or group growth in all aspects of business and life in general.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is usually a successful individual who can share their wisdom and experiences, to provide insights and guidance as their mentee encounters challenges along the way.
They don't have to be experienced in their mentee's field, but need to know how to navigate the business in general. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee can continue for as long as the mentee needs.
How can working with a business mentor help you?
is willing to help and act as a guide
offers advice, guidance, and support
helps you to understand how to run and improve your business
stays in regular contact with you through meetings, telephone calls and emails
increase your business knowledge and experience, and improve your business skills
help you to understand how to get your business performing as effectively as possible
chat through your problems and help you to improve your problem-solving and decision-making
build your confidence and leadership skills, bringing out the leader within you
widen your network of business contacts
With some of my own clients, we've spent a lot of time looking at their own personal development to enable them to go beyond what they think they're capable of.
And there's more...
develops your key business skills – identifying which ones will be most beneficial for the type of business involved
shares tips from their own practical experience
helps you develop new products and services and how to market them
helps you develop a stronger and more sustainable and more profitable business
By now, you may be thinking that you could go online and read up on all of this. Yes, you can. For me, it's the void that's created by the online world of information.
I want to talk to someone who's had lived experiences. Someone who can understand all those processes they've been through and can help me. And in many ways reassure me that I, the mentee, can also be successful.
What can't a mentor do?
A mentor won't:
have any stake in your business
give you legal advice
directly market your business for you
develop your strategy or business plans – you're ultimately responsible for any decisions you make around this
I've been coaching in the business and non-business environment now for some time, and am finding more and more of my clients are coming to me for mentoring.
It's that time in one's life, just on edge, the brink, the tipping point. Your intuition is telling you whether you're on the right path, but your experience in your given field may be limiting you from progressing.
You need some more substantial help to give you just that little extra nudge and guidance to enable you to develop and evolve your dreams into reality so you can fly.
Want to help a small business grow?
Being a mentor goes far beyond the rewarding feeling of 'giving back'. Mentors gain a range of personal development benefits from the experience.
Become a voluntary mentor for the Help to Grow: Management Course and commit 10 hours over 12 weeks to support businesses with their growth action plan. Sign up today
The national mentoring element of the Help to Grow: Management Course is being delivered by a partnership of Newable, Enterprise Nation and the Association of Business Mentors on behalf of the Department for Business & Trade.