Team of experts or an expert at building teams?
The modern workplace is more demanding than ever. Flexible, ever changing – just take a look around and you’ll see any number of your current employees or team who are doing a different job (or jobs) to what you initially hired them for.
But how do they build the skills they need to excel at all these new jobs? Sure, mentoring can play a part but how do you find the perfect mentor to guide your team members through the many new skills they need to learn?
Short answer: you don’t.
Chances are that any number of mentors/friends/colleagues in the past have given you the tried and tested advice ‘focus on being great at one thing in particular’. For the most part, this is true and has most likely played a part in you achieving the role you have today.
However, the difficulty is this results in management and leadership figures within organisations, no matter how great or impressive they may be as individuals, often being true subject matter experts in one or two areas rather than a jack-of-all-trades for many.
You wouldn’t learn to climb from an elephant
When we encourage members of our team to find a mentor to help them upskill in multiple disciplines, it doesn’t make sense to search for a ‘catch 22’ mentor who can coach them through different scenarios for each of these disciplines. As we’ve seen above, you run the risk of any such mentor either a) giving advice in an area they’re not best placed to support in; or b) they are so rare that the experience can’t scale across your team (unless they’re overly generous with their time!)
Instead, the more logical approach would be to advise your employees to focus on building multiple, purpose-driven mentoring relationships with several mentors – tapping in to a wider net of expertise, each mentor passionate and perfectly placed to guide in their particular area of expertise!
These multiple perspectives also expose your employees to a diversity of thought, lending themselves to the age-old mantra ‘best idea wins’ as this group of mentors seeks to challenge your employees to solve problems from a multitude of perspectives and approaches.
You wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket if it meant risking the future of your business – don’t make the same mistake with the development of your leaders of tomorrow and give them every chance of success by encouraging multiple mentors.
What you can do to help:
Finding one mentor can be tough – let alone multiple! That’s why Mentorloop’s My Match feature provides an easy place for people to browse and connect with the right mentor (or mentee) with the right advice, at the right time.
Promote an environment where your people are masters of their own destiny for their learning and development and explore how My Match and Mentorloop can help today.