I’m a young female working in the construction industry for just under a year. I really enjoy construction and think I could have a great career in this industry. A friend of mine suggested I find a mentor, but I don’t
know anything about mentorship. Can you help me with this?
WHY YOU NEED A MENTOR
Good mentors accelerate your learning because they share their experiences and help you sharpen your thinking. Good mentors teach you how to think, not what to think. They serve as a sounding board as well as answer your questions and offer suggestions and advice. They provide career perspectives and industry knowledge that guide your professional development. As a result, you will make fewer career mistakes and feel even more confident in yourself and your future.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A MENTOR
When looking for a mentor, the single most important factor is the person’s willingness to be there for you. Your mentor must have the time and interest to help you when needed while being as committed to your success as you are.
When selecting your mentor, another key characteristic is the person’s listening skills. Does he or she listen carefully and seek to understand your entire situation before offering you advice? That’s imperative! Also, look for someone with well-rounded experience and a track record of success. You may find having two different mentors will bring you the most value. As an example, you might work with someone who excels in industry knowledge and someone else who has expertise in professional growth. Mostly, you must absolutely trust the mentor you select.
SUCCESSFUL MENTOR RELATIONSHIPS
To succeed in this relationship, you must own it, which requires setting up working guidelines that fit for both of you. Be sure to establish them at the beginning of your relationship so you both know what to expect from each other.
Set clear expectations on important practices such as confidentiality, meeting or conversation frequency and duration, check-in points, follow-up accountability, and more. Instead of having a mentor who tells you what you want to hear, insist on honest feedback. Begin with being crystal clear about knowing what you need to learn from every conversation you have with your mentor. This provides a base for reflecting on the difficulties you’ll face and celebrating the victories you’ll have along the way.It’s your responsibility to make sure the relationship succeeds.
If you don’t yet have a formal relationship with a mentor, set a goal to start one within the next 60 days. If you have a relationship in place but it isn’t working as well as you’d like, be proactive. It’s time to fix it or change it.
About the Coach:
As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Register to receive his Leadership Tip of the Week at www.LeadersEdge360.com, or contact him directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2021
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