It is a widely acknowledged fact that people who are mentored outperform – and out-earn – people who are not! People who are mentored receive promotions more frequently, and they generally display a lower burnout rate.
The thing is, though, having just one mentor can be quite limiting; whereas having a team of mentors can catapult you right to the top of your game! Having a personal mentoring team is essential, and they need to be selected with caution and precision.
You can really benefit from a team of mentors as they serve to offer a diversity of outlooks, thoughts, skills, and social capital. The more diverse your team is, the greater reach and potential you’ll have.
The trick is not to limit yourself to just one industry or organisation — you need to be thinking on a global scale. So if you genuinely want to obtain a colourful array of different perspectives, you need to ensure that your mentoring team are not the same kinds of people as you! Your goal should be to have a cross-section of various genders, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds.
Find people who hail from a wide range of industries, such as science, medicine, education, and law. This way, you’re bound to learn invaluable tips from every single one of your mentors; not to mention have the opportunity to grow your network exponentially. And the awesome thing is, you’re the common denominator within your team. This means you can reach out to all and any members when you need to, without them all having to meet up together.
So, first things first: how exactly should you go about identifying who you need on your team? Below you’ll find my simple The 5-Step Process To Developing A Mentoring Team:
You need to get clear on, and ask yourself, the burning question first: “What is my short-term goal?” It is crucial to identify and label an attainable, immediate goal. Knowing where you want to go and what you want to achieve can assist in carving out the path you need to take. The purpose of not choosing more long-term goals at this stage is that they’re very likely to change as you encounter new experiences and develop new skills.
There’s a well-known saying out there that goes something like: “A goal without a plan is only a dream.” Once you’ve completed the first critical step of getting clear on your goal, next, you must identify exactly what you need to do in order to achieve that goal in the short-term. You need to be as specific as possible with regards to what those next steps should be.
After you’ve identified these steps, you are then in the right place to begin building your mentoring team! To start, I want you to envision a bullseye. In it, a total of three circles, one inside the other. Check it out below.
Get out a pen and a piece of paper, and write down the names of all the people who know you best. These are the people who know you when you’re tired, hungry, or even in a bad mood. They could be your partner, family, closest friends, or your kids. Even if they’re not in your industry, these are the people who will always tell you the truth — even if it hurts. These are the people who know the “personal” side of you.
This is the circle which is just outside of your inner circle. It encompasses your close work colleagues. These are the people who have seen you under the deadline pressures, or in the midst of many a crisis. Those in your middle circle know where your work ethic and your reputation stand. These people could either be seniors, juniors, or at the same level as you. These are the people who know the “professional” side of you.
Your outer circle is the one that will undergo the most work. It includes your acquaintances, and people who work both inside and outside your industry. Many of them you may not even know directly; but you definitely know of them. This circle could include people you’ve heard speak; or those whose work, position, and reputation you look up to. They do not need to be in your immediate field. Think about it; if you’re having negotiation issues, for example, having access to a master negotiator on your team – from any industry – is huge. Another great thing to note is that these potential mentors can be approached remotely.
Although just a rough skeleton, the above steps are something you can start working with today! Begin with your inner circle, and then work your way out. Let people in on what your goals and your plans are.
Mentors will offer with guidance and connections to their own network; so make sure you leverage that as much as possible. Be bold, and ask for introductions to your outer circle wherever necessary.
Remember that all the circles are permeable. You can add or remove names of any potential mentors as certain needs arise or whenever circumstances change. Mentors are never fixed.
Before you know it, people in your outer circle could move into your middle circle; and new names might be added to the outer layer as you progress on your journey.
If chosen carefully and with intention, your mentoring team will surely help you ascend and reach your objectives.
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