International Mentoring Day, on 17th January, promotes a global understanding of the mentoring movement throughout the world. Mentoring in the workplace is described by the CIPD as a relationship where a more experienced colleague shares their knowledge to support the development of a less experienced individual. An effective mentoring relationship offers learning opportunities for both participants, encouraging open and honest sharing and learning on both sides.
Applying for a Rising Star Award during lockdown at the height of the pandemic, George steered away from traditional training courses, instead opting for the value of a business coach and mentor. He knew this would not only help his career advancement but also his personal growth. “Business in lockdown was horrendous and I didn’t know what was going to happen in the future. I realised a business coach would be more helpful at that point; someone who understood the industry, the lockdown impact and what to do.”
“I researched coaches and mentors and came across Colin Sinclair McDermott from The Online Print Coach” said George. “We really hit it off and had a number of sessions where he helped me to navigate Covid and acted as a sounding board to run things past.”
In the professional realm, mentoring can play a crucial role in career development. Mentors provide guidance on navigating the complexities of the workplace and offer advice on career choices. “Colin helped me with recruitment,” said George. “We focused on what message I wanted to get to clients about what makes my business stand out from the crowd.”
Helping with personal growth
Beyond professional development, mentoring contributes to personal growth by enhancing self-confidence and resilience, communication and decision-making skills. Mentors often serve as role models, inspiring mentees to reach their full potential as George reflects: “Coaching from Colin gave me a bit more self-belief – I’ve always been driven and striving for the next thing but it helped me believe in my capability to do this.”
Mentors’ experience can also help mentees navigate challenges, setbacks, and uncertainties. “Mentoring definitely helped me get through Covid and gave a valuable additional point of view on certain things. I don’t think a coach necessarily needs to be in the same industry now, but during Covid it really did help as Colin understood the challenges that came with a print business,” says George.
Mentees can benefit from their mentor’s established connection networks, gaining access to a broader professional community that can contribute to their success.
Diversity in mentoring
Whether you’re a young person looking for guidance or even at the top of your game, mentorship thrives when individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together. “It’s different when you’re the leader of the ship; there is often no-one else to talk to when you’re the boss,” explains George. Mentoring creates powerful, positive, long-lasting relationships along the way. It can be especially helpful for individuals who are isolated, excluded or at the margins – no matter their place in business.
Whether you are a mentor or a mentee, today is a great day to reflect on the significance of your mentoring relationships and how they have shaped your journey towards success.
This year’s Rising Star Awards open for applications on 29th January. Applicants are encouraged to speak to their manager, HR team, or mentor about their career ambitions and the skills gaps they need to bridge in order to achieve them, before they apply. This support helps produce the best applications, which can demonstrate how the courses applied for will clearly help deliver the applicant’s goals.
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