Mentorship impacts both personal development (maturity, interpersonal and communication skills) as well as professional development (technical and tactical knowledge and career path knowledge).
The goal of mentorship is to assist the lesser-experienced person in reaching his/her personal and professional potential. It is critical to understand that mentorship is not any one behavior or set of behaviors, but rather includes all of the leader development behaviors (that is, counseling, teaching, coaching, and role modeling) that are displayed by a trusted advisor.
The strength of the mentorship relationship is the fact that it is based on mutual trust and respect. Assessment, feedback and guidance accelerate the developmental process and enhance performance. When this occurs within a mentoring relationship, even higher performance results.
Mentoring requires taking advantage of any opportunity to teach, counsel, or coach to build skills and confidence in the mentored. Mentoring is not limited to formal sessions but can include every event from quarterly training briefs to after-action reviews to casual, recreational activities.
One of the most important legacies that today’s senior leaders can leave on the Navy is to mentor junior leaders to fight and win future conflicts. Mentoring develops great leaders to lead great Sailors.