More companies than ever are implementing mentorship programs in the workplace. Some of the benefits of doing so are obvious. Others, though, may surprise you as you develop your program. These benefits may not jump out right away, but they help make you better at what you do.
1. Learn the Rules
Any workplace has a set of rules and guidelines, whether spoken or not. You may think the best way to learn them is to receive and study a written set. While this helps, learning from someone who has been there can help understand not only what they are, but how to apply them effectively.
2. Learn Outside the Rules
Knowing what you are expected to do only gets you part of the way. There are many nuances to learning your business that no set of guidelines will ever show you. Watching and learning from an experienced veteran will help you learn tips and best practices well outside of the written word on the subject.
3. Find Yourself
Mentors do not just show you how to be more like them. When you are in the business world, sometimes you get so busy trying to learn the "right" way that you don't ever find your own way. A mentor can watch you work and get to know your strengths and weaknesses. This gives you help finding how not only to be good but the best version of yourself.
4. Listen More Effectively
Working with a mentor forces you to listen. Not only do the words matter, but the expressions and subtle visual cues pass information as well. You learn to focus on all aspects of communication, something that will only make you better at working with everyone you encounter.
5. Take on New Perspectives
No matter how smart you are, you have things to learn. One way to do this is to learn to see the world from perspectives other than the one you bring with you. Yours matters, but so do those of others who see parts of the world you may not.
6. Lead Better
Mentoring isn't just designed to teach you to follow. Working with a leader gives you fresh insights on how you can become a better leader, too. Watch what he or she does and how. Over time, you get a sense for how a good leader gets people to respond, and learn some of the tools to become a better leader yourself.
7. Outgrow Your Mentor
Functioning in the business world should not be merely about catching up. When you work closely with a mentor, he or she can teach you a great deal. Ultimately, your goal should be to surpass your mentor: in knowledge and in ability. By accelerating your learning curve, you can move beyond those who teach you.
If all your mentor does is help you learn the basics, you miss out on a wealth of opportunity. Use mentorship as a chance to grow into yourself and your business.