In the November Issue:

It’s undoubted that connecting with the right people at the right time/stage in your career, and life, can be transformational. Connections and relationships matter. While we are in a world where it seems the volume of “who you know” matters , it is not the quantity of those alone, but rather the quality and intentionality of the relationships in this case. When properly nurtured and fostered, mentor/mentee relationships can propel you through the various stages of your career, and uncover life-changing advice. 


A mentor and mentee relationship - while often brings to mind benefits for the mentee, can be beneficial for all parties involved. It is as important to be a mentee as it is to be a mentor. 


For mentees, we often understand the benefits of seeking a mentor. Mentorship can provide a critical competitive advantage - something which can be difficult to find in the ever-evolving business landscape. Your relationship with your mentor can help you stand out, with their support of you bridging connections for you and owning your “unique value proposition”. What may not necessarily be as evident, is the benefits to what we refer to as the “beneath the iceberg” aspects of  ourselves.


Mentorship can allow the mentee to deepen their self-confidence, and get out of their own way. Resounding thoughts regarding lack of experience, limiting beliefs, negative self-talk, and bad experiences of our past can often compound and hinder our career journeys. For women in particular, one of the most compelling reasons to find a mentor is truly to build a relationship that uplifts you. Mentors can help you combat the pesky “imposter syndrome” and help you gain clarity and understanding of who you are, your strengths, and how you’ve been putting on the brakes for yourself.


For mentors, the benefits may not always be as obvious. As a mentor, you have the opportunity to impact another life, and witness the growth of both your careers together. You are able to share learning experiences and impart wisdom that your mentee may not have been privy to. Sharing these experiences with your mentee can, not only, help others learn and evolve in their careers, but is also a chance to self-reflect on your journey to success, how you have overcome challenges, and what you may have done differently. 

Sharing your career journey can flex your relationship building, communication, and leadership skills, deepen your relationship with your mentee, and open you up to new learnings about yourself. Being in story telling mode is an active reflection and allows you to re-examine your career goals, celebrate the wins to date, and re-learn your own personal or professional “truths”. 


So now that you’ve met your mentor or mentee, and agreed that you are a good fit, how can you ensure that  the relationship continues to be fruitful for you both? Here are just a few ways: 


Clearly Defined Expectations & Goals

While you don’t need a detailed instruction manual for your mentorship relationship to be successful, you will at the very least require clear expectations and goals for your mentorship relationship. Having these and communicating them with your mentor/mentee from the outset with full transparency, helps to create a clear vision of success for both parties. Agree on key commitments, timing, and core objectives of your engagement at the beginning of the relationship and revisit often. 

Open Communication & Receptiveness to Learning

Vulnerability can be hard for some entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to meeting a new mentor or mentee. However, willingness to engage from both sides is an integral part of a meaningful relationship. As YEC Council Post stated in their Forbes article, “To create truly effective accountability in your mentoring relationships, you have to be willing to commit to helping each other. In that, the only way you hit objectives is if your accountability partner does well.” Participants must be willing to understand that feedback may not always be comfortable, but a necessary part of the process.

Transparent and open communication are incredibly helpful for the growth of both mentor and mentee. Both participants are required to maintain a willingness to share their experiences and listen to the other; mentors must be curious and guide from a place of non-judgement. To reap the most benefit, mentors must also be open to learning from their mentee, actively create opportunities to reflect on their participation, ask questions to deepen understanding of their mentee’s lived experience, and seek constructive feedback from their mentee. 


Responsibility & Accountability

As you have set your goals and expectations, you will naturally be responsible for ensuring they are met and/or accomplished. The mentee becomes responsible for completing any “homework” or follow-up actions , in order to stay focused on their goals, and most importantly to implement the strategies that are collectively developed along the way. Equally as important would be the mentor’s commitment to holding the mentee accountable for the above work and to check in periodically to ensure that you are both attaining your mutually decided goals.


Continued Commitment to Time For One Another

Just like most connections between people, there needs to be a sense of personal responsibility and dedication to show up, and actively participate, in the relationship. Relationships that immediately feel too challenging, encounter difficulty to foster a connection, and a lack of interest can often result in one’s tendency to disengage. Mentors or Mentees that don’t make the effort to openly communicate, or connect over a common goal or efforts, can fizzle out and the relationship can lose perceived value. 

It’s important to note that all rewarding relationships require work and time to nurture. If you’ve heard of the 4 stages of team building, from storming to performing, well that applies here too. To ensure you are both advancing in your relationship, commit to regular check-ins , whether it’s weekly, monthly, etc.. As you progress through new and different jobs, it’s imperative to frequently reconnect and rediscover how you can provide new forms of support and connections as your career continues to evolve.


Additionally, continue to nurture your relationship by committing to moments of celebration of one another’s accomplishments.


The mentor/mentee relationship is a specific, and highly unique and strategic partnership, that can provide pivotal experiences for both participants. Creating and committing to these meaningful connections are a key ingredient in, not only, creating opportunities for business growth and career development, but also a mutually rewarding and beneficial life-long relationship. 


Chantal Brine is a builder — of people and businesses. As founder and CEO of EnPoint, Chantal and her team help clients create and maintain effective mentorship programs.

A sought-after speaker, she often talks about the importance of living an authentic life, and on the impact of mentorship in advancing one's career.


Find Christy HERE! 

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