This is Part 6 of our 10-part series on the 10 Key Qualities and Habits of a Highly Effective Mentor. Read Part 5 here.
If you’re reading this, you probably are either curious if your mentor is giving you all they got, if you’re being a receptive mentee, or if you yourself are up to snuff in the mentoring department.
In this part of our series, we’ll look at how important it is for both mentors and their mentees to push themselves out of their respective comfort zones and into the growth zone. Let’s jump in!
Quality 6: They Get Uncomfortable
1. They’re in the growth zone
Possessing the key quality of stepping outside their comfort zone is essential to being both a good mentor and a good mentee.
These people are willing to try new things, consider new thoughts, and think outside of the proverbial box for the sake of personal and professional growth.
Prospective mentors and mentees who are willing to try something new and give it a “go” will have the best chance of reaping the most benefits from their mentoring relationships.
So how do you get out of the comfort zone and make your way into the growth zone?
The comfort zone is where most people love to reside: It’s where you’re comfortable, don’t have to take risks or do anything new or different. It’s a safe space that you know; a space that doesn’t come with any unknown variables or unexpected surprises. This space is necessary in all of our lives: We absolutely should reside here during certain periods or under certain circumstances, but we have to know that the danger of this zone is that while we are living here, we aren’t going to grow. Life itself is full of unknowns, we can’t control it and have to accept that. That’s why it’s important to regularly push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to be better prepared when something goes awry.
Stepping outside of our comfort zones can be scary, but it’s important that we harness that fear as a propellant to push ourselves into new territory! From there, we can begin to take a chance to look around and learn about this new land we’ve encountered, and ultimately, grow from it. That’s because the more often we carry out this comfort→fear→learning→growth practice, the more comfortable we’ll be at being uncomfortable, the more chances we’ll take, the more often we’ll willingly enter this cycle, the more we’ll grow, faster, and so on!
2. They’re curious!
Inquisitiveness is a gem. The curious ones often will take the time to dive into new ways of doing things.
Being a curious mentor also means you should continue learning about what’s going on in your industry or business, your school, your community, or the world at large. Remember: What worked a decade ago may not be optimal today, and what works today may not work as well in one, two, five, or more years from now.
So, continual learning is essential if you plan to continue to be an effective mentor. Always keep an alert eye on trends, topics, and developments that may impact you or your role, both now and in the future. And if your mentee asks you something you don’t know the answer to, admit that you yourself do not know, then do yourself and your mentee a favour and follow up to find the answer.
People who are naturally curious tend to follow the “if there’s a will, there’s a way” philosophy. If they don’t know the answer or if they need help with something, they won’t sit back and wait; they’ll go looking for the answers.
Those who are curious will also generally participate more.
They’ll seek out resources to share, read, and further their learning via podcasts or tutorials. They do what they can to ensure they’re building a successful mentoring relationship, and this is incredibly valuable if you have a mentor.
Are you ready to push your team members into the growth zone by introducing a mentoring program at your organisation? Mentorloop can help! Start by sharing this series with your HR team, today!