This is Part 10 of our 10-part series on the 10 Key Qualities and Habits of a Highly Effective Mentor. Read Part 9 here.
Networking has some major benefits, and it’s likely that given their experience and years in the industry, your mentor has a good one, which means you mentees do now as well! Let’s take a look at some impressive statistics around networking (via Review 42):
- 85% of positions are filled through networking.
- 70% of people found a job through connections in a company.
- 95% of professionals consider face-to-face communication vital for long term business.
- The close rate for face to face meetings is 40%.
It’s likely that, by this point, you and your mentor have established some great rapport, you’ve already discussed some opportunities for growth in your field, and your mentor may have even already connected you to someone in their circle. That’s because mentoring partnerships often lead to both mentor and mentee becoming a part of each other’s extended professional networks! Here’s what you can look forward to as part of this new professional community.
Quality 10: They extend their network
1. They’ve built a network
Effective mentors enjoy a positive reputation and are held in high regard by colleagues at various levels in the organisation and in different functions. What’s more, their network’s advice is as valuable as their own, and they know it. Nowhere is the phrase “it’s who you know” more pertinent than it is in mentoring.
Individuals being mentored are looking for advice and guidance, but chances are, they might not find one mentor with all the answers they’re looking for. This is where a well-connected mentor comes in. Your mentor can help you find someone who can better assist you by simply extending a helping hand: “If I don’t have the experience in dealing with a specific issue, it’s likely that someone within my network does.” These connections are truly priceless!
2. They teach you ‘how’ to network, and how to build your own
The role of networking in business itself may be a new concept to some mentees. This is why mentors should take the time to teach their charges how reciprocal relationships can help support business growth. These mentors will encourage mentees to get out of their comfort zones and reach out to people beyond their existing network of friends, family and loved ones to create networks comprised of new and unknown people, especially professional alliances.
This may even include helping mentees identify local business associations or groups that provide networking opportunities and encouraging them to explore these networks to see if they’re a good fit. Mentors may even offer to attend a local business breakfast club meeting or an informal meeting with another professional to help mentees build up their networking chops.
Remember, networking is a skill that needs to be developed. If your mentee isn’t very versed in networking, mentors may want to role-play potential networking scenarios to help their mentees increase their confidence and comfort.
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3. They’re resourceful guides
Effective mentors can help broker new, interpersonal connections for their mentees. Knowing their mentees on a deeper level means mentors better know who to connect them with, in order to get them to where they want to go. With more time in the industry, mentors can also act as resources who provide insights into where mentees can go for information and just-in-time learning.
A bolstered network of professionals looking to expand their business services or simply bounce ideas off of new people means a whole new well of opportunities for mentees! Mentors can also use their mentee’s introduction to their own network as an opportunity to brush up on new and current happenings in the field and make new connections themselves.
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