Author Topic: The Benefits of Mentoring in Business  (Read 2792 times)

Farhan Ejaj

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The Benefits of Mentoring in Business
« on: March 18, 2018, 08:43:27 PM »

What do Steve Jobs, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have in common? Aside from being 21st-century tech titans, all three had excellent business mentors. And they’re not alone: There is a long tradition of mentoring that spans history and even dates back to mythology. In fact, the term originated with an important character from Homer’s Odyssey. In this text that takes place during the Trojan War, Odysseus relies on Mentor to serve as both an overseer of his household and a teacher to his son, Telemachus.

Historical examples of relationships between mentors and mentees include Socrates and Plato, Hayden and Beethoven, and Freud and Jung. Today, the term “mentor” has evolved to mean a trusted advisor, friend, teacher and wise person, according to a book on mentoring by author and businessman Gordon Shea. Mentoring is a fundamental form of human development where a person invests time, energy and personal know-how in assisting the growth and ability of another person, Shea wrote.

So how does mentoring work in the business world? Sir Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the Virgin Group, discussed his take on how important the relationship between mentor and mentee can be for success: “I have always been a huge believer in the inestimable value good mentoring can contribute to any nascent business. Ask any successful businessperson and, if they are honest about it, they will almost certainly admit to having benefited from the advice of a mentor at some point along the way.” Branson credits his own mentor, Sir Freddie Laker, with helping to shape his entire approach to business.

How It Works
Modern mentorship has flexibility that was not possible in the past. Previously, communication had to be carried out in person or over the phone. Now, mentees can get in touch with their mentors through both face-to-face meetings and online interaction. In addition, mentors can come from many places: Family, friends and business contacts can all play a role. And mentoring can be either casual or structured, depending on what works best for both parties. The most important aspect of the relationship is regular professional contact — no matter how it is carried out.

There are two main factors to consider when forming a mentoring relationship. First, decide on the degree of involvement. The arrangement should meet the needs of both the mentor and mentee, whether they choose to work closely with each other or to carry out conversations by email as needed. Second, determine the level of structure. If the mentoring is formal, there could be regular meetings with specific agendas and goals. In more casual arrangements, mentees might call on the mentor as problems arise or when guidance is needed.

Online mentoring, or e-mentoring, is ideal for those who are looking for an informal connection or who are geographically distant from one another. E-mentoring is an interactive, long-distance relationship between mentor and mentee. In today’s globally connected world, meaningful mentorship is more achievable than ever before.

To get the most out of a mentoring experience, it is important to choose a mentor who has a deep understanding of how business works. Although it may seem that the information learned in manuals and classes is enough, the information gained from these sources is better absorbed and applied through the context a mentor can give. Especially for those new to business, building a one-on-one relationship with an experienced advisor is a smart way to help ensure success. According to Miranda Morley of Demand Media, the following are just some of the real-world benefits of mentorship