Paths to Self-Improvement: Peer Mentoring

Since everyone at all levels of business have strengths and areas where they need to grow, mentoring does not need to happen on a one-way, top-down basis. In other words, you do not need to convince someone above you in the business world to take precious time out of their day to help you with nothing in return. You can have a lateral mentoring relationship with your peers where neither side is the superior and both sides are the beneficiary.

The key to a good peer mentoring matchup is to have complementary strengths and weaknesses so that you can work to fill in each other’s blanks. These qualities can be directly business related, but they can run the gambit from personal, emotional, or value-oriented as well.

But I’ve skipped the first and most overlooked step. In order to know what you’re seeking in others, you must know what your own weaknesses are in the first place. This involves taking a self-inventory that many are unwilling to make.

The biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves. You have to ask yourself whether you want to get to the heart of what qualities are genuinely holding you back, or if you just want to stick to the superficial tools of the trade that are closest to the money. The biggest return can come from getting out of self-preservation mode so you can put your ego in check and find out where the real gains are to be made in you as a person.

Once you’re ready to let go of the worst of yourself, you’re ready to get the most out of a mentorship.