Becoming a Mentor: How and Why
Finding a mentor is an obvious career development strategy for the protégé, but it is also a valuable one for the mentor.
In addition to being personally rewarding by helping you to give back and continue to build and sustain your passion for your career, mentoring another professional requires you to exercise and develop leadership skills that can help you stand out.
This positive differentiation, in turn, can make it easier to be considered for the kinds of stretch assignments, special projects, or new positions in your firm that will propel you along your desired career path.
Here are some of the skills mentoring others allows you to develop and exercise:
- Active listening
- Giving feedback
- Setting goals
- Performance coaching
- Encouraging and motivating others
- Persuading others
- Problem solving
Not everyone who wants to mentor others has the immediate opportunity or the requisite skills and perspective to do so successfully, so CFA Institute invited Jim Keene, CFA, founder of Atherton Consulting Group LLC, to present “Mentoring and Coaching Others,” a webinar that shares some of his insights into how you can become an impactful mentor.
In the webinar, Keene explains that respect and trust are the fundamental building blocks of a viable and successful mentoring relationship. He addresses how active listening, taking time to really get to know your protégé, helping to set meaningful SMART goals, celebrating achievements, and knowing when and how to close a mentoring relationship all relate to and encourage achieving that respect and trust. Keene also provides insight into the role generational differences can play in the mentor-protégé dynamic.
If mentoring is something you are interested in doing, you don’t necessarily need to find a formal program, though it can be helpful to check in with your employer or your local CFA Institute member society to see if they administer one. Keene explains that while it may be more typical for a protégé to initiate the relationship, there are strategies that can help aspiring mentors find their protégé.
If you have insights on how mentoring others can impact career development or how to successfully manage a relationship with a protégé, share them in the space below for other readers to learn from.
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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
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