When I was younger, I was a huge fan of The Matrix. As an adult, I can look back at it and take so much more away from it - the subtext, the themes - things as a preteen I didn’t really understand. One of those things was mentorship.
Morpheus tells Neo that he needs a mentor to help him understand the real world. Although he is initially reluctant to accept Morpheus' help, he eventually comes to realize that it’s the only way he can achieve his full potential.
Mentorship is like the Matrix. It’s a powerful tool that helps us see the world in a new way and to achieve so much more than we can on our own. So let’s dive in and find out more.
What is mentorship?
Mentorship is a relationship between a more experienced person (the mentor) and a less experienced person (the mentee). It’s a powerful tool for personal and professional development, as it helps the person getting guidance to:
Achieve their goals: A mentor can help a mentee to set goals, develop a plan to achieve them and stay motivated along the way.
Reach their full potential: They can identify strengths and weaknesses and instruct the mentee on what skills and knowledge they need to develop to succeed.
Build relationships: An experienced hand in an industry will have a valuable network of contacts. They can share this and help someone new to an industry to build their own.
Learn new skills: A mentor can share their knowledge and experience with a mentee, helping them to learn new skills and develop their expertise.
Gain confidence: They can provide support and encouragement. It might seem trivial but can be a real boost when challenges pop up along the way.
Mentorship can be beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee.
For the mentor, it can be a rewarding experience to help someone else achieve their goals. It can also be a way to give back to the community and make a difference in someone's life. For the mentee, mentorship can be a life-changing experience. It can help them to achieve their goals, make advances they couldn’t have done on their own and build a better future for themselves.
The 3 A's of mentorship
There are three key ingredients to a successful mentorship relationship: availability, accountability and appreciation.
Availability: A mentor should be available to their mentee when they need them. This means being responsive to emails and phone calls and finding time for each other, for instance, a weekly meeting.
Accountability: A mentor should hold their mentee accountable for their goals and commitments. This means providing feedback, offering encouragement and helping them stay on track.
Appreciation: A mentor should regularly express their appreciation for their mentee's efforts. This shows that they value the mentee's contributions and that they are committed to the relationship.
How to be a good mentee
If you’ve found a mentor, there are a few things you can do to show you respect them.
Be respectful: Show your mentor respect by being on time for meetings, being prepared and listening to their advice.
Be open to feedback: Be willing to listen to what your mentor tells you, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
Be committed: Don’t start a relationship if you don’t plan to stick with it. Value their time and act on their advice.
Just like Morpheus helped Neo restore peace to the world, a mentor could help you achieve something incredible.