And one way leaders can shape the future is through mentoring the next generation. Mentoring is a critical aspect of leader development.
Mentoring is an activity that mutually benefits junior and senior leaders because the mentoring relationship creates a safe learning environment through feedback.
Junior leaders benefit from the time and attention of more senior leaders as they glean wisdom from another person’s experiences without having to live through the same events. While at the same time senior leaders benefit by sharing their philosophies on leadership and listening to different perspectives on leadership issues from those they mentor.
Mentoring relationships can take on many forms. They do not always have to be formal, long term relationships. In fact great mentoring often occurs in rather informal settings.
But the best mentoring is guided. Guided mentoring provides an outline or theme, which facilitates discussion and encourages both parties to focus their attention to a defined topic. This method certainly is not meant to limit, rather like farming it helps to “loosen and prep the soil” of discussion, resulting in an enriched discussion and deepened development.