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A mentorship provides you with the insight that can help you develop a fast-paced career, but it also offers you an opportunity to learn other skills. While you may not view this as a path to leadership, many of the experiences you’ll have with a mentor will prepare you to lead. Here are just a few examples of the leadership qualities that mentorship will instill in you.

Boost Your Self-Awareness

A self-aware leader can promote that same quality in their team, but self-awareness isn’t usually a trait you’re born with. The best way to develop this characteristic is by receiving regular feedback on your performance. While an employer may not take the time to do this, providing regular feedback is one of a mentor’s key roles. Through their insight, you can hone your other skills and, in doing so, develop a higher degree of awareness of your actions.

Improve Your Communication Skills

A good leader is skilled at communicating his thoughts while also listening to his team members’ thoughts and concerns. This isn’t something that comes well to everyone, but your interpersonal skills will improve in a natural setting as you work with a mentor. You’ll learn how to communicate well with your mentor and with those with whom your mentor works. By the time you complete your participation in a mentorship program, you’ll have the communication skills of a good leader.

Learn Networking Skills

Ambition requires the ability to develop a passion for networking, understanding that meeting new people in a specific field of an industry can aid in advancement. It may be difficult to advance a career in some cases, especially when the opportunities for upward mobility within an organization are limited. However, when you network with others in your industry or career field, you’ll find more opportunities to step into leadership roles. These openings can be found at conventions and industry-related events or via the professionals you meet as you work with a mentor.

There are many more ways that participating in a mentorship program early in your career can help you advance later in life. The skills you learn from the mentor and the relationships you forge will evolve as you adapt to your career. In many cases, mentorship can be a direct path to future leadership roles.