Successful business women know the importance of having mentors at various stages throughout their lives. Whether it was in school, sports teams, dance or other activities, who among us doesn’t remember having someone who offered the help, support and advice that helped us get some challenging times.
Business is tough enough for success business women so why not have some people you can count on for support. Many people will tell you what they think you want to hear, not enough will tell you what you should hear.
And receiving and accepting candid feedback is a main reason why successful business women get that way. They use it to avoid costly mistakes and make better decisions to achieve their business goals and professional aspirations.
Mentors are important to those who may be lacking the experience, knowledge or skills required in a certain task or position. Successful business women can leverage the capabilities of others to help them when their lack of experience could be a liability.
After all any stretch assignment has potential pitfalls where your lack of experience could cause you to fail. This is where a mentor can help. You learn from their mistakes, not just from yours.
But how do you know what type of mentor you need? Who would be the best person to help? How can successful business women find them?
The first step requires an objective self-assessment – You can’t find a mentor until you “find” (know) yourself. Only after you know what you need, can you find a mentor to help.
Ask yourself what do I really need in a mentor – if it’s for career then maybe you want to know what jobs you should be taking now. What course and/or training are needed? What assignments should successful business women be thinking about taking to give them the right experience given their career choices?
Or maybe you’re in a new role or stretch assignment. You might want to ask a mentor – What are the barriers to success? How do I get around them? Who should I involve? What other skills are needed? And so on. Determine and understand what you really want.
Step 2 – After you have answered these questions, ask yourself how a mentor can help you.
Mentors can help with a promotion, developing skills, identifying strengths, getting help with weakness and as well as business progress. They can also be business development sponsors for successful business women.
The right business related mentor is also someone who knows your field, can help you learn new things and is willing to give his or her time to help you. Often they have the knowledge and skills, open-mindedness, accessibility, trustworthiness and reliability.
Sometimes their great success comes with great egos which can be a problem. Just because someone has significant cache doesn’t mean they will help you. Successful business women will also need to determine the structure of the mentoring relationship – in person, virtual and global or network. And if the mentoring relationship is for long term or just for short period of time.
Successful business women may not find a mentor over night. They will need to continually be reaching out to people who they think could help. Meeting with them, sharing ideas and concerns. Over time you will determine if they are the right person for you: can they be the mentors that you need to help you and your business.