What Is A Professional Mentor
Let me start by defining what a professional mentor is, and the difference between a mentor and a coach.
Mentoring is a long-term relationship between you and your mentor, while coaching is a more finite duration with focus on specific behaviors. Mentoring is in general less formal and with less structure than coaching which has more defined sets of targets.
A mentor is an individual with extensive professional experience, who help and guide a less experienced person to develop and grow.
The mentor enables the mentee to grow toward their full potential through challenging tasks, advice, and encouragement.
The mentor and mentee usually meet on a regular basis either in person or with the help of modern technology online.
What Are The Benefits Of Mentorship?
Great mentorship is a beneficiary for both the mentor and the mentee. The mentor improves his/her teaching- and leadership= skills and gains personal satisfaction from guiding the mentee toward success.
The mentee will gain several professional skills from having a mentor, and these are a few of them;
- leadership skills like communication, time-management, and creativity
- building a network of connections
- getting expert advice
- building professional relationships
- increased confidence
What Is A Good Mentor?
A good mentor is willing to share their knowledge. They are invested in the success of their mentees and are enthusiastic. They are well aware of, and communicate to their mentee, the importance of lifelong learning, and staying on top of the development within their industry. They are themselves lifelong learners who are able to provide constructive feedback to their mentees. They are well respected in their field and set good examples of personal habits. They have both personal and professional goals and personal success. And they are great team workers with a willingness to share their success.
What Is A Mastermind Group?
The concept of mastermind groups was first introduced by Napoleon Hill in the book Think and Grow Rich (1937) and the original definition was a group of at least two people who come together with the aim of solving problems.
Today a mastermind group is a group of peers that meet on a regular basis (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) to give each other guidance, advice, and support. The idea is that each member is valued for their knowledge and contribution.
The purpose of the mastermind group can be to share ideas, thoughts, information, feedback, contacts, and resources. But they can also include educational presentations and have room for personal issues.
Each mastermind group has its own set of specific rules, and you can join either by being suggested by one of the members or by an application process.
The ideal size of a mastermind group is between five and ten members.
Types Of Mastermind Groups
There are several types of mastermind groups but the two most common are
Groups based on a specific industry for example technology groups, groups for life coaches, and groups for teachers.
The second type is more based on occupation. For example, you can have a mastermind group focused on teachers in high school teaching language art/ English.
No matter what type of mastermind groups we are talking about they are all based on some core principals;
Willingness to both giving and take
And just as with mentorship you can find mastermind groups that meet both in person as well as online.
Why Join A Mastermind Group?
There are many reasons why you can benefit from joining a mastermind group and here are a few of them;
- you will get inspiration and ideas you maybe wouldn’t have found by yourself
- you will learn from others as well as share your knowledge and experience
- sharing your goals with others often lead to a stronger commitment
- you will have a small and strong network that always are willing to help and encourage you
- you will experience both personal growth and professional development
So Which One Is For You?
I don’t think that one excludes the other, but I think it might have to do with where you are in your professional development. Early in your career, it might benefit you more to find a mentor, but at the same time, you can be part of a mastermind group, especially be with other people that are early in their own career. In my opinion, they can very well be a positive influence on each other the mentoring and the mastermind group.
But a key point to both a mentor and a mastermind group is that you find one that really fits your personality, your goals, and your career.
My Final Thoughts
I have always worked better in groups, so for that reason, I am more attracted to the concept of a mastermind group. But as we all know we all have our own preferred way of learning and this must be taken into consideration when you plan for your career. And as I said you can very well work with both a mentor and be part of a mastermind group at the same time.
If you are interested in my video on the topic it is linked below as always.