Debunking Mentoring Myths

By Florida Starks

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

I am a huge fan of mentoring, both at work and in life.

Mentors are people who are thought leaders in your industry. They shape you, your beliefs, and society at large. Mentors are everywhere!

It is a surprise that a vast majority of people turn their noses up at the thought of mentoring. This is because they don’t really understand what it is in the first place.

Mentoring is a process where the Mentor helps a person look deeply into his or her business, career, or education. They work together to develop a plan of action that will steer the Mentee (person who is being mentored) in the right direction.

Here are some of the main myths that surround mentoring:

Long Term, Face to Face Commitment

The first thing people think when somebody mentions getting a mentor is it is going to be face-to-face, one on one, and a long-term commitment. They are scared to make a commitment because they are not sure of the outcome or it is not practical for them.

What you need to realize is that times have changed, and the traditional relationship between a mentor and a mentee is not a standard anymore.

With the world turning into a global village, people can get some mentoring over the phone, Skype, or any other web-based chat or calling application. You can choose a time that works for you, and there is an option to try out the service or just go for a shorter period of time. Only an hour of mentoring can be very worthwhile!

You can choose it when you need it. It doesn’t have to be a regular thing.

Only Young People Need Mentoring

When people think of mentoring, they think of an older, seasoned professional helping and guiding a naïve young person. They feel that your mentor needs to be 10-15 years older than you. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Today, industries are full of examples of people who openly express their gratitude for their mentors and give them credit for where they are today. These people are not young adults starting out; they are well-regarded professionals.

People use mentors at various stages in their lives. Don’t think you only need a mentor when you are starting your career. You will benefit even when you are a mid-level manager or if you are thinking of making a career transition.

There Can Only Be One Mentor

A mentor can be anyone. A person who has a wealth of ideas to grow your business or advance your career usually is a good choice.

They help you refine your ideas and put them into practice. They have greater clarity and can pick up on things you miss.

With these attributes in mind, you can choose whoever you feel is qualified to mentor you. There can be more than one person coaching you to success.

Mentoring is Expensive

As compared to consultancy services, mentoring can actually be quite affordable. Most people offering mentoring services don’t hope to make a lot of money from mentoring. They do it to make a difference. When you come across such people, you would be a fool to pass on such an opportunity.

There is much to be gained from getting some mentoring. It could be free. You could go ahead and self-appoint people as your mentors. They don’t even have to know.

You can buy your mentor’s books, follow his or her talks and blogs, and connect with your mentor on social media.

Only the Person Getting the Mentoring is a Winner

Do you think only you will benefit when having a mentor? This is simply not true.

Mentors also get many rewards for helping you. It could be that they add to their own knowledge and expertise. They might discover new insights into issues or start looking at things from a new perspective. They just might feel really good doing it.

In any case, the relationship between a mentor and a mentee is mutually beneficial. It serves both parties.

So there you have it. All the myths have been debunked.

Is it time now for you to look into getting some mentoring?

How Have Your Mentoring Experiences Been?

If you have ideas about mentoring that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Florida Starks
Florida Starks
Dr. Florida E. Starks is an Area Training Manager at Verizon. With more than 22 years in corporate higher education, her primary objective is managing new hire training, continuing education initiatives, employee on boarding, and enterprise change strategy.
  • M.S.Kannan says:

    FRIEND PHILOSOPHER GUUIDE the aceeptance,adherence by mentee with mentor ,identified carefully with specific skillset s& tactics to handle the exact need of the respective individual with an objective to improve the intelectual value poised to overall development as focus will be a rewarding experience to the Mentee..


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