“Can it help my business achieve its objectives?”
Having been in mentorship for years, I can tell you with certainty, “mentorship will not just help you achieve your set goals, but also surpass your key objectives by a huge margin.
When you bring in a mentor, he takes a dynamic and pragmatic role to increase the mentee’s competences and options for success. The mentor helps you to develop innovative strategies, and become the driver of change as opposed to resistance – see a new force, a new face for success!
Well, even if your organization appears to be working well, you still need mentorship to accelerate faster or else, it is only a short while before competing businesses race past you. This is why the bulk of top CEOS, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Steve Jobs, the legendary CEO of Apple, managed to do so much with the help of mentors. You too should interweave mentorship into your operations to map the roadmap for organization success.
As you think about mentorship, I can tell you that there are a number of mentorship dimensions, which define the interaction and success of mentorship and I will share them with you in this “Mentorship Dimensions: What Every Business Leader Needs to Know” post.
This is perhaps the most important dimension in mentorship. Mentorship is all about establishing and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships. When Homer’s Odyssey coined the term “mentoring,” the primary focus was about personal development and experiential learning, but the focus has now grown to become the force defining growth and success of both the protégé and his/her organization.
Relationship dimension of mentorship mainly focuses on building trust. Because you are letting in another person, other than yourself, to become part of the “molding block” of the decisions that you make, trust is very important. As a mentor, the goal is to understand the protégé, making it easy to come down to his/her level and then growing together. Although this relationship dimension is more pronounced at the start of mentorship, it persists all through because you are in constant liaison. Relationship dimensions can take the following forms:
- Empathetic listening
- Using open-ended questions
- Providing descriptive feedback
- Checking perceptions and being non-judgmental
As a protégé, the relationship with your mentor becomes part of you, now and later, meaning that it is like a powerhouse that you turn to to conquer new heights. This is why we always hear top leaders proudly referring to their mentors, and some go back to them for “re-energizing” when faced with new challenges.
The relationship you build with a mentor sets you up for success no matter the challenges that come on your way!
If you want your business to succeed, you need to walk with masters of success, and these are mentors. They have been at the point where you are now, and, therefore, seen most of the challenges that you are facing today. Furthermore, they have helped other businesses march to success, and you can rely on them to get the information that will define your route to success.
To provide information, your mentor needs to learn more about you, your challenges and review the past. So, where are you coming from? What has made the business to get to the current status, level of success, or challenging situation?
Like a doctor, your mentor will look at the answers to the questions he asks and come up with concrete answers. Using his experience, your mentor aims to help you develop competence, confidence and credibility. It is like telling you, “You know, yes, you are doing this, but I will show you a better way to do it in order to shine more and stand out.” Other methods used by mentors to inform their protégé include:
- Reviewing the past
- Directing comments with the aim of identifying solutions
- Restating crucial feedback for clarity
- Using facts
With a mentor, you have a rich source of knowledge, and wisdom to rely on to navigate through whatever situation comes your way. The mentorship develops into a sort of powerhouse that you can use to conquer challenges on the way and achieve bigger things.
With the first two dimensions, mentorship is geared towards unravelling your situation, but the facilitative dimension now shifts to looking at alternatives. This is perhaps the biggest reason why you need a mentor because it involves redefining the approach that your business will take.
Your mentor uses thought provocative approach to hypothetically and practically look at ways that you can become more effective in your business. Having worked with different organizations and assisted them to become successful, your mentor can help you to craft an analytical framework for testing different strategies. In business, this is very important because you are able to focus on facts so that your business only pursues what will generate results. Mentors use facilitative dimensions in the following ways:
- Asking hypothetical questions
These are carefully modelled questions that target testing different aspects of your business. The mentor may even use direct case studies, especially from the organizations that he has assisted in the past, to help you identify alternative viewpoints for growing your enterprise.
- Uncovering assumptions
Most businesses today perform sub-optimally or even fail because their decisions are built on shaky assumptions. While it is not entirely wrong to use assumptions depending on your current situation, it is important to ensure they are based on facts. Your mentor will help you to unravel these assumptions, and device the best way to build strong strategies.
- Reviewing skills
There is no doubt that a successful leader needs the right sets of skills. Whether it is at the departmental or CEO level, developing the right skills will make it easy to navigate your team to success. For example, working with multicultural teams requires you to have awesome team-coordinating skills. Your mentor will pinpoint these skills and help you to develop them.
The Confrontive Dimension
In mentorship, the goal of a mentor is to empower the protégé to see opportunities and go for them, even when others are unable to. The confrontive dimension is about making things happen. If your business has stalled and you have been wondering why others are becoming bigger and more profitable, your mentor will tell you the way forward – confronting how you have been doing things!
To help you confront how you do things, your mentor will acknowledge key concerns and criticize what you are doing wrongly. Because you have been developing skills that were identified in the previous dimension, facilitative dimension, the concerns raised by the mentor will act like an eye opener. They make you feel that you want to make things better and achieve the new goals for success.
If you have an idea for growth that has been shelved for some time, say six or three months, because you thought the business was doing well, the new challenge will provoke you to think of how to make the idea a reality – you will no longer be afraid of trying something new.
What I consider most crucial when it comes to confrontive dimensions is that the mentor turns you into an agent for change. And that is not all! The mentor will also help you to ensure you carry everyone along with you because it is impossible to drive change alone, but how is this possible? Your mentor will tell you to do this:
- Make progress the primary goal for every department in your organization.
- Review the organization objectives to map new targets.
- Skills development in your team members.
- Motivate your team members and make them proud of the organization.
- Let your staff feel like owners and understand their contribution to the organization is valued.
You mentor wants you to set the foundation for success and confronting how you do things will open new ways and new avenues for success. Well, the confrontive dimension will make your organization to rediscover and overflow with new potential. From here, you can only march to success.
Mentor Model Dimension
In all the dimension that we have looked at, the mentor works hard to build your capacity to become the best. Now, the mentor model dimension comes in to motivate you to go for gold, and the mentor does this in a couple of ways.
Having worked with other mentees and steered them to enviable heights, your mentor has awesome examples that you can rely on for motivation. Mentors will, particularly, use case studies of the organizations they have helped in the past so that you can see how different recommendations were implemented. With such examples, it is also easy to note the changes that mentees adopted and the level of success achieved. Indeed, you may even opt to follow a specific example to make the anticipated success more distinct, and I will give you an example.
In digital marketing, video content has become a new force for growing sales. With 83% of marketers saying videos help them generate more leads and 80% indicating they were able to grow sales, I encourage business leaders to consider following the same trend. However, it is not just any video that will work, and this is where reviewing a business strategy comes in. So, if your sales have taken a downtrend or the videos you are using are not doing very well, I help you to interrogate the problem, look at what others have done, and draw a new strategy that works.
Note that as the mentor motivates you, he believes in your abilities and will encourage you to take risks with greater confidence. Even when challenges emerge on the way, your mentor will tell you to look at them as opportunities. With this motivation, no situation or challenge will be too much for you!
When you go for mentorship, you have that innate drive to outdo competitors. The vision dimension initiative is aimed at helping you to pursue your mission, and a mentor can help you to achieve this in the following ways.
- Seeking your opinion about the desired changes: No matter the level of growth that you have achieved in your organization, there are some changes that you would want to see, right? Your mentor is an agent for change and will help you to make the changes a reality.
- Reviewing your choices: In the highly competitive market, your success can only be possible depending on the decisions that you make, but how do you ensure they are the right ones? A mentor will help you to analyze the choices you have and give an opinion. For example, I always tell leaders to design their products based on buyer personas because they make it easy for clients to identify with the item on sale and make the decision to convert.
- Expressing confidence in you: Think of it this way: you have taken a huge step to identify and work with a mentor. Therefore, your mentor will build on this confidence to help you navigate your way to success. Using models that have been applied successfully in other organizations, your mentor will help you to refine your strategy for success.
If you are in business, whether at startup or it has been in operation for some time, the way you approach its operations will define the success that you can achieve. A mentor will come in handy to help you see things in a different way, enriching your views and strategies for success. This is what your business needs to keep moving on, to drive change, and stand out in the fiercely competitive market.
The above mentorship dimensions demonstrate how mentors work by using their skills, experience, and wisdom to help their protégé to become successful. The dimensions show that a good mentor will hold your hand so that you can easily identify the challenges on the way, and overcome them.
With a business mentor, your path for growth becomes clear, you are molded into a new expert, and success becomes imminent!