How to Maximize Professional Growth Using Multiple Mentors
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Having a mentor is one of the most effective ways to maximize personal and professional development. But while many people are already familiar with the value of mentorship, not everyone realizes that when we say having a mentor is important, we don't necessarily mean you have to limit yourself to just one mentor. What if you could take mentoring a step further and work with multiple mentors?
Your professional journey is not driven by just one skill or area of focus, but by a diverse range of elements including technical know-how, leadership ability, business knowledge, emotional intelligence, and much more. It doesn't make much sense to lean on just one source of expertise to help you progress in all of these different areas. By having multiple mentors, you can benefit from a varied span of beneficial perspectives offered by people with different backgrounds and experiences.
Let's dive into the benefits of working with multiple mentors and explore how you can choose the right kinds of mentors for your various needs.
Why Should You Work With More Than One Mentor?
Working with more than one mentor has a number of advantages over working with only one mentor at a time. In particular, working with multiple mentors gives you access to a broader range of feedback, provides greater flexibility, and enables you to develop skills at a faster pace.
Access a Broader Range of Perspectives
Mentors inevitably bring their unique perspectives to the table, including their biases. Working with multiple mentors allows you to get an “average” of perspectives, which can be useful for identifying and filtering out unhelpful biases. Every mentor has their own wisdom to share, each of which can contribute something separate and meaningful to your growth. The more varied the perspectives you use to inform your journey, the more blind spots you'll notice and the better prepared you will be for any type of challenge that comes your way.
Gain Flexibility When You Need It
Working with multiple mentors also allows you to access a much broader pool of expertise. Just as it’s important to lean on a diverse range of perspectives to guide your entrepreneurial journey, it’s just as important to develop a diverse set of skills. One of the very best ways to do this is to work with a wide range of mentors who can pass on varied types of technical or business knowledge. It takes a lot of different skills to lead a company to success, especially early in its life. You’ll likely find yourself wearing many hats and a varied roster of mentors will help you remain adaptable as you tackle each new business need.
Develop Skills Faster
Working with more than one mentor can also help you develop new skills more quickly. Each mentor will be able to offer different strengths and help you progress in different ways. When you’re able to triangulate the feedback and advice of multiple mentors, you can tailor your learning process to incorporate the best of what each one has to offer — both in terms of information and teaching style. Additionally, mentors are not perfect, and a single mentor with a specific set of experiences may be able to help you fill the gaps in another mentor’s knowledge.
How to Decide What Kind of Mentor Will Work Best For Your Professional Development
The best way to figure out which types of mentors are the best fit for you is to use a technique called mentor mapping. Mentor mapping is a structured process of identifying and connecting with mentors who can help you reach your specific goals. It involves a few special steps, including defining your goals, determining what kinds of support you need, taking stock of same the current support roles in your life, and identifying which needed support roles are missing. Let's go over these steps in more detail.
1. Define Your Goals
The first step of mentor mapping is defining your goals. Defining your goals at the start of the process will add direction to your search for mentorship. Consider what you want to achieve professionally and envision where you want to be in the short-term future. Knowing what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish and defining those objectives in clear terms will help you pinpoint your needs and narrow down potential mentors.
2. Determine Your Support Needs
Once you've identified your goals, think about what kinds of support you'll need along the path to achieving them. There will most likely be a few different areas where you’ll need support, such as technical training or leadership advice. It's critical to account for each of these needs separately so you can find different mentors suited to each one.
3. Take Stock of Current Support in Your Life
Think about the people who are currently supporting you in various aspects of your professional life. Who is providing emotional support? Who is helping with practical tasks? Who is offering other kinds of advice and guidance? Write down a list of everyone who provides you with mentorship and what kinds of tasks or decisions they assist you with.
4. Identify Missing Support Roles
Once you’ve taken stock of the current support roles in your life, identify which ones are missing or mismatched. Missing support roles are areas where you need mentorship but are not currently receiving it. The solution for a missing mentor is simply to locate a mentor who has the knowledge or experience you need.
Mismatched support roles are situations in which a mentor is not well-suited to providing the kind of guidance you’re asking of them. If you have a mismatched mentor, you may need to refocus your work together on areas that better match the mentor's expertise. You may also need to find a new mentor who is better able to meet your needs.
How to Connect With Potential Mentors
Now that you know what kinds of mentorship and support roles are missing from your life, it’s time to make connections with potential mentors who can fill those roles.
Start by considering people you already know who may be available to offer support. Reach out to individuals in your professional network who have experience in the areas where you need help. Taking an organized look at which areas of your professional life are in need of mentorship might make you realize that you already have supporters within reach who have the expertise you’re looking for.
Online mentoring platforms like Mentorcam make it even easier to find reliable and diverse mentorship opportunities. All you have to do is determine what kind of specialization you’re looking for and select a mentor with the right qualifications. Our mentors come from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, including:
- Startup financing
- Business formation
- Sales and marketing
- Product Development
- Real estate
- Social Media
- And more
Check out our roster of available mentors today and find the perfect match for each of your needs. You can schedule a video meeting and start chatting with knowledgeable guides in hardly any time at all.