Learning something alone means walking a long and dark road with no light to show the way. Mentors are there not only to teach you how to walk but to help you find this light inside yourself. But they also need help to help you.
What mentoring is and is not?
In the beginning, let’s determine what mentoring is and is not.
a two-way relationship
development, building capacity and skills
trusting and supportive
a mutual learning experience
Mentoring is not:
getting stuck in the details
the ‘secret’ police or industrial espionage
Why is mentorship so important?
First, insights into a company’s dynamics
A mentor can provide that invaluable experience and advice really to help you avoid any mistakes that they may have run into or just that great valuable insight into how to really better succeed in your role. Creating a mentorship within a company can actually boost equality at that company. Mentorship programs are a great way to put things in perspective.
Second, Woman-to-woman mentoring is the most powerful tool.
Mentorship of all kinds is still going to help you to improve that work-life balance. But woman-to-woman mentoring is the most powerful tool. The reason is that we can relate to some of the similar struggles that we have in the workplace and therefore we can be more beneficial. Women can go through things that men may not understand or may not see even in the workplace.
Third, Mentorship is a Two-Way Street
When a woman mentors another woman it can also help to build confidence, to lead the way. It makes the mentor feel confident, and renewed energy. The opportunity where someone trusted you with your expertise, came with questions and you are able to guide them in some sort of way, you feel yourself in the direction you are headed.
Forth, Mentorship Fosters More than technical skills
Communication: it is a great way to practice clear effective communication.
Leadership: if you are interacting with someone (mentor) at the workplace who is already in a leadership position that can help you to get that confidence and even a vision to see yourself growing in the workplace.
Adapting to a new environment: a mentor helps you to acclimate to both the culture and your role, it’s really important for helping speed up that process.
Networking: another great way to help a mentee, give them some suggested groups to join or organizations that could also help them feel more comfortable.
In which aspects the mentor should focus?
So, finally, in which aspects the mentor should focus?
Strategy planning and finding the right path.
Setting up development and progress priorities.
Marketing strategy, identifying target customers and Go To Market strategies.
Structuring organizational processes and building the team.
Boosting mentees’ learning, personal development and self-efficacy.
If you want to find a startup mentor, or want to improve your mentoring skills, apply for our Fe/male Switch startup game for women! You can play as a startupper, or as a mentor, and skill up in both ways.
Don't wanna wait and want to study now? Learn how to be a good mentor or mentee in our Startup School, and many more about startup building.