Get the Most Out of your Mentoring Relationship in 2021

January 27, 2021
Nicola Cronin

We may not have entered 2021 with the usual vigour of a new year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t set ourselves some personal goals, work on our career development, and look ahead with positivity!

January is National Mentoring Month, which is why it's the perfect time to focus on your mentoring relationships and what you want to get out of them.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a mentoring relationship already, that is the perfect place to start focusing on your personal development. If you’ve not got round to connecting with a mentor or mentee yet, here’s why you should be making it a top January priority:

Why Mentoring?

Both mentees and mentors experience the following benefits from a good mentoring relationship:

  • Increased self-confidence

Whether you’re sharing your knowledge or being inspired, mentoring sessions have a hugely positive impact on self confidence and assurance.

  • Increased self-awareness

Mentoring involves a lot of self-reflection, on both sides of the relationship. When diving into conversations around strengths, challenges and goals, you naturally learn a lot about yourself. This knowledge is invaluable in all aspects of life, not only your career.

  • Improved mental health

It’s hugely beneficial having somebody to talk to who’s outside of a typical management or friendship structure. Studies have shown that those with mentors experience less stress and anxiety, feel more positive about the future, and less isolated than those without. Similarly, mentors themselves experience a higher sense of meaning in their work, which in turn has a positive impact on their mental health. This is particularly important right now, as many people are suffering from the effects of national lockdown and Covid-19.

  • Leadership skills

Many of the traits of a good leader – communication, empathy, emotional intelligence – can be developed during mentoring sessions. Everything from asking the right questions, to delivering feedback, to learning how another person works and communicates. For anyone managing people or hoping to manage people in the future, consider mentoring a free learning opportunity.

  • Growing your personal network

The power of a good personal network is unquestionable. You never know when you might benefit from knowing a wide range of people. Not only does mentoring introduce you to new people you’d never have the opportunity to meet, your mentor / mentee can also introduce you to people in their network.

What next?

We know that all sounds very appealing – but sometimes the hardest step is the first one.

Here’s how you can reap these benefits in 2021 by committing to a mentoring relationship:

If you’re a Guider user...

Mentees:
  • Think about your 2021 goals

Our goals frequently change depending what’s happening in our careers and lives at the time we set them. Your goals and priorities may well have changed since you signed up to Guider. Take a bit of time to reassess what you want to achieve in the next quarter, six months, or year.

  • Reach out to any existing mentors

If you connected with any mentors on the platform last year, reach out to them with a fresh message explaining what you’d like to achieve and how they might be able to support you. Take ownership of the relationship by suggesting a time to meet and some things to discuss. See this as an opportunity to re-engage your mentor – get them to buy into your goals and want to support you!

  • Reach out to some new potential mentors

Perhaps some mentors you reached out to didn’t respond or weren’t a right fit. Don’t let that dishearten you. Make it a new year goal to reach out to some new potential mentors on Guider. Update your development areas and customise your outreach messages. Show your personality and try to explain why you have chosen that particular mentor to support you.

Mentors:
  • Check your current mentoring requests

If you’re committed to supporting somebody with their career development this year, make sure you check any existing mentoring requests in Guider! It may have been a while since you logged into the platform, if that’s the case there might be mentees waiting to hear from you. Log back in, read their profiles and messages, and ping them a response.

  • Catch up with your mentee

Typically the responsibility of a mentoring relationship lies with the mentee – they’re usually the people who reach out first, book sessions and lead the conversation. However, sometimes life gets in the way (particularly during lockdown) and your mentee might not have reached out for a while. Here’s an occasion you can take the reins and try to reignite the relationship. Kick off the new year right and arrange a catch up with your mentee.

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If you’re not a Guider user…

If you’re here to find out more about getting the most out of mentoring, but your organisation is not using Guider, don’t worry! We also have some top tips for you to get the most out of mentoring in 2021:

Talk to your organisation about mentoring and find out what initiatives they currently offer. HR, Learning & Development, and Talent teams are typically the best people to contact about mentoring.

If you have any questions for Guider, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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