What is a business mentor?

A mentor is an expert who has broad, lengthy business experience, and may even have a fair amount of grey hair! This mentor can be from within the organisation or from the outside, perhaps in a similar industry. A mentor will show you how to do the task with the benefit of their own experience.

A mentor will be an experienced professional who will help less experienced professionals develop their careers and skill set by drawing upon their own knowledge and experience. Mentors will generally have no previous knowledge of or relationship with the mentee, as one of their roles is to provide a neutral sounding board whilst offering advice, direction and support based upon their own practical experience.

The role of the mentor is not to be hands on, nor to teach particular skills, but rather to listen and to understand the career being addressed, and then to guide the professional to make his or her own decisions and implement a plan – but only after a range of alternatives or “scenarios” have been explored, drawing on the mentor’s experience.

A mentor is a wise and trusted guide and advisor. The mentor is the teacher that shares their experience while bringing the “mentee” up the ranks. A mentor also may share his or her networks and facilitate an introduction to someone who could assist the executive to learn more about a particular direction, job function or industry. A mentor can help the executive to understand the culture of an organisation and what to be mindful about.

Benefits of a Business Mentor

Sounding Board

Business Mentors can be a great to use as a sounding board for business problems, or ideas that you often cannot vent to your partners, employees or advisers.

Improved Skills

Unlike consultants and advisers, business mentors are not only interested in your business venture, but are also interested in help you develop and learn the necessary improved skills to take you and your business forward towards your goals.

Added Confidence

Knowing that you have a credible mentor to turn to can give you added confidence when facing difficult business situations.

Business Strategies

In addition to simply giving advice and helping improve your personal business skills, business mentors can prepare you with a library of methods and business strategies that you can pull from throughout your career as a business owner

Networking

Business Mentors tend to have been around a while and have a vast network of connections that they will often put you in touch with to help you develop your personal and business goals.

Perspective

Business Mentors can assist you to look at problems from a view point or perspective that you have perhaps not considered or that you would not have thought of on your own.

Long Lasting Relationship

Although some mentor-mentee relationships are short-lived, if you hit it off with your mentor, you can foster a long-lasting relationship that can help you grow long term.

Advice

Possibly the biggest benefit of having a mentor is having someone you can ask questions of and get advice from.