Understanding the role of mentoring in leadership- A Guide
November 17, 2023
Businesses need leaders to propel growth, guide the workforce well and ensure continuous progress. Leaders playing pivotal roles in venture growth can succeed when they have an efficient team to support a range of activities, which decide the fate of an assignment. Therefore, it can be argued that a leader’s primary goal becomes to build and nurture their teams. This makes donning the hat of a mentor an utmost necessity. Developing your managers as mentors prove to be beneficial for them as well as their mentees.
The basics of mentoring in leadership
A manager as a mentor acts as a guide in a professional capacity for teams which may include Individual Contributors, Team Contributors,People Managers etc. They provide them with the required emotional support to cope with stress and difficult workplace situations. When managers don the hat of mentors in an entity, it becomes easier for all parties involved.
Managers, when mentor, resort to various methodologies to guide and aid the mentees. They, for example, engage in scheduled or periodic interaction sessions. These one-to-one and group interaction sessions are useful for feedback on diverse topics and sharing valuable inputs. Such managers also use examples and share professional or personal experiences to enlighten the mentees on professional subjects or explain their point of views lucidly. These help in resolving numerous professional hurdles and facilitating employee growth.
For the mentees, relating to a leader they are already well-acquainted with is easier than someone hailing from an external source.
How leaders and managers serving as mentors in a professional setup can help the organisation
When leaders and managers in an organisation are exposed to mentoring, they gain in multiple ways. The benefits of mentoring in leadership extend to the venture eventually and mentees also stand to gain. It is win-win-win!
Helping employees cope with workplace changes
People get habituated to working in a specific setup, following typical work patterns and norms. As new developments in the workflow and norms seep in, they find it hard to adjust. For example, in a setup with a majority of posts occupied by men, incorporating gender-neutral hiring may make things difficult for some employees. Such people may gain from sensitization workshops but mentorship from managers can ease the transition better for them. They find it easier to relate to a mentor they already know in a professional capacity .
Dealing with complacency
Leaders, after all, are humans! In some cases, they may become a bit too confident about their capabilities, after working in a setup for a long time. This can hinder future growth prospects. Clear, precise feedback of a manager serving as the mentor can give those employees a clear perspective. Interactions and sessions with ace managers serving as mentors enable them to fathom their thought process limitations. They develop a mindset to keep on learning and honing their skills further.
Dealing with stress and burnout
Leaders in most professional setups get exposed to stress and consequent burnout. Such professional stress can be caused by various factors including underperforming team members, increasing targets, volatile industry conditions etc. Expert intervention and mentoring can salvage the situation for them. When the managers work as mentors, employees/ mentees can vent their feelings and obtain ideas and tips to cope better with stress. Mentoring in leadership is important as it helps employees gain better control of their emotions.
Getting neutral and broader perspectives
Despite their skills, teams may become prone to analysing things in a specific way, over time. They, for example, may develop specific perceptions about stakeholders, workflow and these may hamper their ability to think neutrally and use different perspectives. Interaction with managers serving as mentors, enable them to look at things from a different and unbiased perspective. The inputs and feedback from veteran manager mentors may help mentees think and act clearly and manage tasks better.
Better professional equations
A notable benefit of mentoring in leadership is the development of better and healthy professional equations. Teams with access to veteran mentors develop strong and healthy professional relationships, with their team members as well as seniors in the organisation. The insight and feedback of managers blossoming as mentors help the mentees detect flaws in professional relationships and resolve them in apt ways. They figure out ways to strengthen the professional bond with colleagues at varying hierarchies and resolve factors leading to conflicts.
Taking hard, significant decisions
In many organisations, employees have to make difficult decisions, often owing to unforeseen developments. It is not uncommon to find those in key designations wavering before making major yet difficult professional decisions. This can be about opting for a merger or making a foray into a new category or market etc. Effective mentoring by managers helps such mentees become more confident about making such complex decisions. The insight and guidance of such managers, including experience sharing, help mentees analyse things better and make the right choices without delay.
Ways to Make Mentoring a part of Organisation Culture
Mentoring, like any other skill, needs clarity, understanding and practice to build effectiveness. Businesses opting for leadership mentoring services resort to customised strategies for planning and deploying such specialised programs. A majority of ventures typically opt for third-party consultancies to obtain such services.
The external consultant firm may analyse client company needs and growth plans before coming up with a customised mentorship program for its leaders. They may conduct in-depth surveys and take employee feedback for better analysis and understanding of client company leadership building needs. Such mentoring in leadership sessions is held periodically in most instances.
Companies which are building people centric cultures which can go hand-in-hand with a performance focused environment, ensure they help teams learn the foundational role of a manager. Equipping managers so that they inspire people to perform, is one of the key outcomes of Managers as Mentors Certification Program.
The core components of such specialised mentorship programs for managers and leaders include:
- A thorough understanding of the role played by mentors.
- Mastering the techniques of engaging the mentees in a productive way, while tweaking and aligning communication styles.
- Insightful group coaching sessions.
- Micro assignments and projects for practising mentorship skill deployment.
How specialised leadership mentoring programs benefit the organisations
Organisations opting for a specialised leadership mentoring program targeted at a specific set of employees, like managers, gain in several ways.
Better work ambiance
When leaders and managers in a venture get access to expert mentoring, it paves the way for a healthy and better work atmosphere, eventually. Motivated leaders and managers with clear perspectives fare better in handling teams, and maintaining a good professional rapport with others. It helps foster a positive work environment.
Enhanced employee retention
Managers receiving mentorship training tend to develop great insights in teamwork handling and they develop strong professional equations with their team members. This helps boost employee morale and the retention rate receives a boost, eventually.
Mentoring in leadership helps ventures avoid unnecessary work conflicts. Managers receiving effective mentorship training become good at navigating complex conversations and conflicts. Same is reflected in mentees’ behaviour and approach.
Organisational growth and success depend to a large extent on the continued and consistent performance of its leaders. Leaders, and other employees find it easier to perform at their best when they get regular access to expert mentoring. Mentoring by managers enables them to fathom their performance limitations, enhance their skill sets and overcome diverse professional obstacles. Continued and optimal performance by employees ensures sustained growth for the venture.
Assess the mentorship certification program offered by the entity and check if it involves stages like candidate assessment, experiential workshops, one-to-one and group learning sessions, projects and through assessment.
Summing it up
The benefits of leadership mentoring services are indeed too large to overlook. A thorough certification program to understand the role of mentor at a workplace can act as a leverage when building oneself for bigger responsibilities. Such Certification Program also prove to be beneficial for organisations which are growing fast and need to build talent readiness for the upcoming phases. One can register for Managers as Mentors Certification program here.
How to give feedback to employees mindfully is crucial for any organisation. This plays a key role in company growth and employee retention.
Without the Development of leadership, no business can succeed and grow. It fetches them plenty of benefits and requires a solid strategy.