Guiding a baby in her first walk, or demonstrating to a child how to ride a bike, or telling a son or daughter the challenges of teenage crush are just a few of the everyday mentoring parents or older people do.
Although largely associated with academic teaching, mentoring is actually in all aspects of learning—having been recognized as a valuable factor in the way a person acquires knowledge and skills. In business, mentoring has become a strategic learning activity as it is proven to enhance individual as well as organizational competency.
In management, mentoring is referred to as “a method of employee development where the mentor uses his skills and experience to impart knowledge and skills, guide, encourage, advise, and support another employee - the "mentee." It aims to facilitate the mentee's development and learning so that he or she can contribute more to the attainment of the company's objectives.
What do you get from mentoring?
As a mentor, one is given the opportunity to cultivate in his mentee responsibility, leadership, and interpersonal skills. A mentor does this by posing work challenges to the mentee and by providing constructive feedback.
A great number of mentors claim that by being a mentor, one earns the respect and recognition of peers. Mentoring enhances authority, thus firming up one’s position within the organizational structure. The mentor likewise is given the opportunity or the chance to learn from the mentee.
On the other hand, the mentee is given a role model and feedback board. The mentor can become a role model for the mentee whom he can emulate. The mentee gains a "confidante" for expressing new ideas or for airing frustrations. For the new employee who is fresh from the school, mentoring allows for a smoother entry into the workplace by neutralizing unrealistic expectations and naive perceptions of the corporate world. During changes and transitions, mentoring aids in making the mentee more comfortable and allows faster adjustments to changes in work and processes. A neophyte, under a mentor’s guidance, may be allowed to try varying and more sophisticated tasks. Studies have shown that employees who take up mentoring relationship move ahead faster than those without mentors. This generally results in mentees having greater career satisfaction than their peers who have no mentors.