How to be more knowledgeable

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How to be more knowledgeable

Seasoned conversationalists are usually great storytellers and can carry on a conversation about a wide range of topics. When you’re knowledgeable and well-read, small talk can become more than an opportunity to pass the time. Instead, it’s an easy way to have interesting conversations with clients and colleagues.

If you’d like to take your networking ability to the next level, set out to acquire a well-rounded repertoire of conversational subjects. Read newspapers, books and magazines. Listen to podcasts and TED talks. Sign up for classes and attend cultural events. Travel to exotic locations.

If you invest in personal development, you’ll stand out as an entrepreneur who is intelligent, experienced and interesting. Here are eight ways to learn a little about a lot in just a few minutes a day.

1. Subscribe to a daily newspaper. You could subscribe to your local paper or opt for a daily with national distribution such as The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. If you would prefer not to have the actual paper delivered to your home or office, most offer a digital edition for a reduced subscription rate. Go online and read newspapers from other parts of the world. When you travel, pick up the local paper at the airport. It’s an opportunity to spur conversation with clients, colleagues and friends.

2. Read for 20 minutes a day. As the saying goes, “readers are leaders.” Pick up one or two books on an interesting subject you know very little about. Read fiction and non-fiction. If you have a very busy schedule, or often become distracted later in the day, read first thing in the morning or over your lunch break.

3. Multi-task on your commute to work. Podcasts and audiobooks can help you pass the time in traffic or on the train — and teach you a little something at the same time. Research which podcasts and audiobooks are available on the topic you’d like to learn more about. Read reviews and download a few to your smartphone. Even a short commute will give you enough time to learn a couple new tidbits.

4. Listen and learn. You may be tempted to walk away from a group conversation if it segues into a topic with which you’re not familiar. Instead, stick around and listen. Ask questions. Offer any insight you have based on your unique experience and perspective.

5. Sign up for a class. Many municipalities offer adult education classes in a variety of topics that range from painting, creative writing to foreign languages. These classes are typically small, inexpensive and will give you the opportunity to explore an area of interest. If your city or county doesn’t offer classes, contact your local community college or university.

6. Attend local events. Chances are your area has dozens of groups that regularly get together for social and professional reasons. Most are focused on one thing: an industry or profession, a particular culture or a shared interest. Sign up and go when you have the chance. It’s an opportunity to make new connections and learn something new.

7. Visit museums and cultural centers. Take advantage of the historical and cultural exhibitions in your area. Visit museums that focus on an area you know very little about. If you have a particular question, most museums have docents who are extremely knowledgeable and would be glad to speak with you or give you a tour.

8. Venture outside your comfort zone. If you consciously look for opportunities, there are thousands of ways to meet new people and learn about new things. Take advantage of the knowledge your neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances have to offer. Ask questions and be curious. If a particular topic piques your interest, reach out to an expert with a specific question. The world is full of surprises; all you have to do is keep your eyes open.

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There are no secret tricks or magic methods to becoming knowledgeable. There is also no one single way of being knowledgeable. Knowledge has many varied facets encompassing skills from book learning to understanding how to build or create, to knowing how to manage your finances, to resonating with mother nature.

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  • Learn code. There is a huge variety of code, so the easiest way is to focus on one specific type and learn it well: HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl, etc. There are lots of online tutorials for all the different codes. Experiment with different ones and practice your code writing. A few places to start would be Code Academy [6] X Research source or w3schools [7] X Research source . [8] X Research source
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    Learning new skills at any age reaps a huge amount of benefits including raising self-esteem, increasing our sense of accomplishment and personal growth, as well as keeping those brain cells active and well-used.

    We can all struggle to find the motivation to carry on learning no matter what the subject is but there are several different ways that can help us along the way. So how exactly can we learn effectively and become more knowledgeable as a result?

    Motivation, the Sweet Spot and the Information Gap

    To learn something effectively, we need to be present in the sweet spot. This is the magical space where we are neither sitting in our comfort zone nor forcing ourselves so much that we become demotivated.

    Motivation is paramount in keeping us on track when learning new things and the sweet spot is the key to keeping this motivation going. Lingering too long on information we already know can lead to boredom and going too far into unknown territory can cause us to lose that much-needed motivation very quickly. It’s important that you keep a good balance and take small but challenging steps to keep you moving forward.

    By doing this you need to be aware of the information gap. This is crucial when keeping up the motivation to gain more knowledge; we should always start with a subject in which we have basic understanding but where we still need an advancement of information to fill the gap. This way we can better connect our knowledge to what we’ve previously learned.

    Remember, curiosity is one of the greatest motivations for learning, but this can be easily killed off if the level at which we are learning is too difficult. Maintaining a good pace and remembering that small steps achieve big goals will keep demotivation to a minimum.

    Not Everyone Learns in the Same Way

    The important thing to remember is that we are all different when it comes to learning new information and skills. Intelligence is commonly thought of as our intellectual potential which can be measured with IQ tests, but in fact, research has shown there is a large spectrum of intelligence that differs from person to person and cannot be limited to conventional tests; this means that people have the potential to excel with different cognitive abilities and therefore, learn effectively in completely different ways.

    Understanding your learning technique and utilizing it will allow you to become more knowledgeable on the subject you’re learning. Once discovered, make this your main source of learning, making sure you throw in some alternative ways for optimal results.

    With this in mind, here are the most effective ways for retaining information and gaining the skills that you’ve learned.

    Memory Tactics

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Memorizing information can come more easily to some than others. If you struggle with retaining key points and more complicated topics then improving your focus is one way of dealing with this.

    Neuroscientific studies have shown that listening to certain type of music not only increases productivity but helps to focus the mind and retain information. Websites such as [email protected] aim to keep you in the state of flow and concentration allowing your brain to utilize its memory function.

    Cramming too much information into a short space of time can be tempting but ultimately, this is laziness in disguise. When we cram, we don’t think carefully about the meaning of what we’re learning; in other words, it’s all about quality not quantity.

    Make sure you structure your time well. Structured study sessions over a period of time allows you to process the information more adequately and research has found that the brain takes in more of this information through small regular sessions than one long, marathon.

    Relatable Learning

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Relating and applying what you’ve learned to already-known situations is an effective way to understand new information. By doing this, you allow your brain to see connections through experience and previous knowledge, cementing this in the mind and allowing it to stick.

    If you try to apply it to the relevance in your own life or how it relates to things you find interesting and important, then this will help with focus and motivation in the long run.

    Learning Through Practice

    How to be more knowledgeable

    This is one of the most popular methods of learning and one that I find the most effective. Lifting words from a page can be good in doses, but often our brain needs to experience the theories to fully understand the connections.

    A good example of this is when we learn a new language. The most effective way is the immersion technique where you are in a situation where you’re forced to speak the language and the brain is pushed to reach in and find translations as well as picking up on subtleties of speech, intonation, and assumption through gestures. Putting your mind through this trains it to find connections fast and efficiently much more than sitting down with a book.

    Explain What You’ve Learned to Someone Else

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Another great method is to attempt to explain the new information to someone else. Doing this reinforces what you’ve learned in your mind, allows you to pinpoint any gaps in information or points you haven’t fully understood, and helps you translate the information you’ve gained into your own words and in a way that others can understand.

    This is an effective way to test whether or not your techniques are working for you. Start a blog, create a presentation or participate in discussions on the subject to solidify your knowledge.

    Try Different Methods of Learning

    How to be more knowledgeable

    As I pointed out earlier, finding a particular way of learning that resonates with you is your first port of call. However, don’t limit yourself to just one method. The brain needs stimulation and even if one method is very effective, you can run the risk of getting bored and it’s in this space that motivation can wane.

    Once you find your most effective method, then utilize it but try to also mix it up by reading, watching related video clips, practical sessions, and explaining to others; being visual and verbal are both important factors when learning effectively and becoming more knowledgeable in your chosen subject and creates a good balance.

    Always remember that becoming an efficient learner takes time and practice as new habits need to be formed and established. Be patient with yourself and focus on one method at a time to allow yourself to find out what suits you. Motivation is key so do what you can to keep this up; focus on the small, steady and effective steps to get you to the next level.

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Truly knowledgeable people are a delight to come across. They make excellent conversationalists and give the impression that they are very well-rounded. This is important if you wish to become more likable or are trying to widen your networking circle.

    6 ways to become more knowledgeable

    1. Don’t be afraid to make conversation with people smarter than you
    2. Read a newspaper every day
    3. Listen to an episode of an audiobook or podcast every day
    4. Make use of idle time
    5. Visit any exhibitions happening in your area
    6. Take a class on a subject completely new to you

    How to be more knowledgeable

    1. Don’t be afraid to make conversation with people smarter than you

    Many people begin to get uncomfortable when realizing they don’t understand or aren’t familiar with a topic someone is talking about. They might try to change the subject or worse, make an excuse to walk away.

    The next time this happens, try to continue the conversation instead. Ask questions about things you’re unfamiliar with and respond with your own opinions when you can. There is no shame in showing you’re interested in learning something new.

    2. Read a newspaper every day

    Coming off as someone who has kept up with the daily news is a clear indication of intelligence. It has and always will be important to be aware of what’s going on around you.

    If you don’t like reading the old school physical newspapers, try to subscribe to an online version. There are plenty of online portals that give you quality news for a reasonable subscription fee.

    Many even send daily digests straight to your inbox!

    How to be more knowledgeable

    3. Listen to an episode of an audiobook or podcast every day

    With there being such a large range of audiobooks and podcasts available for free online, there’s definitely something for everyone.

    Do some research on featuring topics that might interest you and try to listen to an episode each day. It’s a great way to spend any free time you have and will end up making you a little bit smarter!

    Amazon Audible has a large collection of audiobook categories for you to select from. Now you get to enjoy listening to your favorite audiobooks anytime, anywhere.

    4. Make use of idle time

    An idle mind is the devil’s playground. When you find yourself in a situation where your mind’s not at work (such as in a waiting room, during lunch break or while on commute), try doing something to occupy yourself.

    Take the time to do some reading or listen to an audio book or podcast. Put your smartphone to good use by downloading some insightful articles that you’ll read when you have time. It’s better food for the brain than spending that time just watching people around you.

    How to be more knowledgeable

    5. Visit any exhibitions happening in your area

    You know all those posters you see on your office or apartment building that advertise a cool event coming up? Next time you walk by one, try to actually pay attention.

    These little events or exhibitions are often a great way to learn new things and meet new people. The more obscure the event, the better. You’ll end up coming out of it having picked up quirky bits of information that will make you an undeniably more interesting person.

    6. Take a class on a subject completely new to you

    If it’s been years since you graduated, it’s likely you haven’t experienced what it’s like to be a student recently. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to just sit down with a class and listen to an expert who knows best.

    Research on centers in your area that offer classes on topics you want to learn more about. They are often not too expensive and will give you a unique opportunity to delve into a new subject.

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    On my first day as a manager at a software company, I discovered that most of my employees had been doing their jobs for several years—some, for more than 10. And I, a 24-year-old former cupcake baker and technological spaz, was now assuming the role of their direct supervisor.

    Which meant: When my team members had questions about anything from recovering a lost password to the complex set-up of the software they implemented, they would be coming to me for a resolution. All I could think about was the fact that I wouldn’t know a single answer to any of these questions—and that they would see right through my “expertise.”

    So naturally, I panicked. I immediately regretted taking the job, cursed the recruiter who thought I was even remotely qualified for the position, and took a few too many teary-eyed trips to the restroom, where no one could hear my pathetic blubbering.

    When I managed to regain my composure (and my drive to succeed), I knew I had to make the best of this challenging situation. I surely didn’t know everything about my new company or the inner workings of its software, but I did have management experience—and with that in my favor, I could make it work.

    If you find yourself in a position where your employees know more than you (which, especially as a young manager, you almost certainly will), here are a few ways I found to navigate this seemingly tough situation.

    Be Honest

    If one of your direct reports asks you something that you don’t know the answer to, be honest. At first, I shied away from this, because I was sure it would make me come across as weak, unknowledgeable, and altogether unfit to be in a management position. But, if you go the other route—providing an answer that you think is correct but isn’t—you (and your employee) could end up in an even worse position, and you’ll quickly lose your team’s respect.

    On the other hand, don’t brush these questions off, either. Let’s face it, nothing is worse than asking your supervisor—the person you’re supposed to bring your questions and concerns to—a question and having her reply, “I don’t know, you’re going to have to ask someone else.”

    Here’s a better approach: Tell your employee that you’re not sure of the answer, but that you’ll find out from someone who does. Sure, it may take a few minutes (or hours) to track down the information, but if you follow through and eventually produce the answer she needs, you’ll instantly gain her respect.

    Learn From Them

    Instead of fearing your employees’ knowledge (and what they’ll think of your lack of knowledge), take advantage of it! Being the newcomer at a company is completely overwhelming—but remember: No matter how long your direct reports have been there, they had a first day, too, and they know how it feels to be the fish out of water and not quite understand the company-specific mumbo-jumbo that’s coming at you at lightning speed.

    So during your first few weeks, take some time to sit with each of your employees, watch their daily routines, and ask lots of questions about what they’re doing and talking about. They’ll enjoy demonstrating their knowledge, and you’ll learn more from them than you ever would from a training manual.

    Ask For Their Feedback

    Employees who have been with a company for more than 10 years have inevitably seen processes change time and again. They’ve seen what works, what needs improvement, and what, as far as they’re concerned, will never change.

    As a manager looking for ways to improve processes, increase efficiency and productivity, and bring ideas to life, this is a fantastic resource. Ask your most tenured team members for their opinions and ideas—they’ll often lead to issues and concerns that you hadn’t thought of before. If you don’t quite understand an issue or a process, they can help you with it, plus provide insight on how changes can be made to it.

    My advice, though: Don’t let these conversations turn into a fruitless rant of complaints—make sure the pain points you discuss actually lead to action steps, and keep your eye on the goal of resolving issues and making processes better.

    Give Them Your Respect

    Finally, remember to pay attention to your own frame of mind. It’s easy to come into a management role on the defensive, thinking that you must have beat out all your employees for this coveted position—and then extrapolate that they’re going to be jealous, disrespectful, and bitter toward you.

    The truth is, though, management positions and the roles of your employees don’t always go hand-in-hand, and the skills required for each are often completely different. It’s possible that no one in the department even wanted that management gig, because they didn’t want to deal with the meetings, budgets, employee discipline, and all the other duties that come with a supervisor’s role.

    With that in mind, it’s important to let go of your assumptions, check your ego at the door, and convey how much you respect and value your employees. Remember, it’s only when you combine their skills and yours that you can move the company forward. Let your employees know how much you value their knowledge, and they’ll be more receptive to your leadership.

    Believe me, leading a group of tenured and knowledgeable employees is really intimidating. But when you recognize them as the resource they are and commit to learning as much as possible, you’ll inevitably become a stronger leader.

    by Ron Kurtus (revised 24 May 2012)

    In your role as a student, it is important that you are both knowledgeable in your subject matters and skilled in study techniques.

    Your ability to study effectively is enhanced with knowledge and skill, resulting in better grades. Being able to understand things and perform tasks can make you feel confident and good about yourself.

    You gain knowledge through study and skill through application of what you learned.

    Questions you may have include:

    • What determines knowledge and skill?
    • What are the benefits to a student?
    • How can a student become knowledgeable?

    This lesson will answer those questions.

    Knowledge and skill

    Being a knowledgeable student means you are well informed about subject matters and studying techniques.

    Little knowledge makes bad impression

    A student who has insufficient knowledge does not know what he or she is talking about and does not know how to succeed in school.

    Mastering techniques

    Being skilled in school means you have mastered study techniques and are able to do work and take tests in an effective manner.

    Know more than one subject

    Some students specialize in one or two subjects, to an extreme. If it is about science or computers, they are often called nerds. If it is only about sports, they are called jocks. My feeling is that it is good to be mildly knowledgeable about as many subjects as you can.

    Importance and benefits

    It is much easier to go to school if you thoroughly know the subject matter and are skilled in study techniques.

    Embarrassed by lack of knowledge

    Lack of knowledge can result in anxiety and embarrassment. A knowledgeable student will usually get better grades.

    Overcome challenges

    A student who is skillful in study techniques will know how readily do homework and prepare for a test. A skilled student can often overcome a lack of knowledge through his or her studying ability.

    Become confident

    Confidence and esteem, plus better grades, are some of the rewards from being knowledgeable and skilled.

    Become knowledgeable

    You should make sure that you become knowledgeable and skilled.

    Observe, study, and read

    The way to gain knowledge in school is to observe, study, and read. Good students are known to be voracious readers. Being curious and interested in many things helps you to become knowledgeable about them.

    Apply what you have learned

    Applying what you have learned and also analyzing the results of your work are good ways to establish your skills.

    Other needed factors

    You need to be healthy and alert to be able to learn and gain skills. You also need to do excellent work, as well as to have character to become knowledgeable. Getting a reputation for your knowledge and skill can lead to becoming admired and valuable.


    You should be both knowledgeable in your subject matters and skilled in study techniques. This will result in better grades, as well as making you feel confident and good about yourself. You gain knowledge through study and skill through application of what you learned.

    Observe and learn

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    The benefits of social regulation of emotion.

    Posted May 30, 2018

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Consider the positive feelings you experienced the last time when you did something good for someone else. Perhaps it was the satisfaction of running an errand for your neighbor, or the sense of fulfillment from volunteering at a local organization, or the gratification from donating to a good cause. Or perhaps it was the simple joy of having helped out a friend. This “warm glow” of pro-sociality is thought to be one of the drivers of generous behavior in humans. One reason behind the positive feelings associated with helping others is that being pro-social reinforces our sense of relatedness to others, thus helping us meet our most basic psychological needs.

    Research has found many examples of how doing good, in ways big or small, not only feels good, but also does us good. For instance, the well-being-boosting and depression-lowering benefits of volunteering have been repeatedly documented. As has the sense of meaning and purpose that often accompanies altruistic behavior. Even when it comes to money, spending it on others predicts increases in happiness compared to spending it on ourselves. Moreover, there is now neural evidence from fMRI studies suggesting a link between generosity and happiness in the brain. For example, donating money to charitable organizations activates the same (mesolimbic) regions of the brain that respond to monetary rewards or sex. In fact, the mere intent and commitment to generosity can stimulate neural change and make people happier.

    Recent research suggests yet another way our well-being can benefit from practicing pro-social behavior: helping others regulate their emotions helps us regulate our own emotions, decreases symptoms of depression and ultimately, improves our emotional well-being.

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Regulating each other’s emotions

    Our day-to-day lives offer plenty of opportunities for regulating our own emotions. When we are happy, sad, frustrated or anxious, we find ways of managing our feelings to meet the demands of our environments. At times, however, when the weight of our emotions becomes too much to bare, we turn to others for support. Social regulation of emotion is a key component of our relationships. Whenever we navigate children through tantrums, help a friend through a breakup, or rely on our partners for comfort after a challenging day, we often engage in social regulation of emotion. Whether we are the ones providing the emotional support or the ones seeking it, the 2 most common ways to help others regulate their emotions are through acceptance (showing empathy by validating their feelings) and reappraisal (helping others think about their situation in a different way). A recent study from Columbia University has revealed that when helping others navigate their stressful situations, we are enhancing our own emotion regulation skills, and thus, benefiting our own emotional well-being.

    The study

    Over a three-week period, participants were provided with an anonymous online environment where they could share their personal stories of stressful life events. They could also provide emotional support to other participants by replying to their entries with short, empathetic messages. Participants helped each other by identifying potential distortions in thinking, suggesting reappraisal strategies or providing words of acceptance. Responses were rated for their degree of helpfulness and participants were given the opportunity to express their gratitude for the acceptance or reappraisal messages that they received from others.

    The results showed that helping others to regulate their emotions predicted better emotional and cognitive outcomes for those participants who were giving the help. Moreover, because heightened levels of self-focused attention are common in depression, the more people helped others, the more their helping behavior predicted a reduction in their own depression, thanks to the use of reappraisal in their own daily lives. Follow-up analyses further showed that this increase in reappraisal in people’s lives also affected their mood and subjective happiness. Interestingly, messages that used other-focused language (e.g., second-person pronouns such as you and your) were considered more helpful and garnered more gratitude from participants. In fact, using other-focused language not only helped the people in need, but also those who were helping. This finding suggests that when providing emotional support to others, trying to fully take on their perspective can increase reappraisal and lead to better psychological outcomes for those who are providing the support.

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Next time you find yourself helping someone with regulating their emotions, consider how your efforts may be providing you with an opportunity to practice for future situations at a distance, and consequently, improving your emotional well-being. Thus, when it comes to the benefits of social emotion regulation, St. Francis of Assisi’s words ring especially poignant: For it is in the giving that we receive.

    Doré, B. P., Morris, R. R., Burr, D. A., Picard, R. W., & Ochsner, K. N. (2017). Helping others regulate emotion predicts increased regulation of one’s own emotions and decreased symptoms of depression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(5), 729-739.

    Dunn, E. W., Aknin, L. B., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319(5870), 1687-1688.

    Ingram, R. E. (1990). Self-focused attention in clinical disorders: Review and a conceptual model. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 156-176.

    Jenkinson, C. E., Dickens, A. P., Jones, K., Thompson-Coon, J., Taylor, R. S., Rogers, M., . & Richards, S. H. (2013). Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 773.

    Moll, J., Krueger, F., Zahn, R., Pardini, M., de Oliveira-Souza, R., & Grafman, J. (2006). Human fronto–mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(42), 15623-15628.

    Park, S. Q., Kahnt, T., Dogan, A., Strang, S., Fehr, E., & Tobler, P. N. (2017). A neural link between generosity and happiness. Nature Communications, 8, 15964.

    Post, S. G. (2005). Altruism, happiness, and health: It’s good to be good. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12(2), 66-77.

    Van Tongeren, D. R., Green, J. D., Davis, D. E., Hook, J. N., & Hulsey, T. L. (2016). Prosociality enhances meaning in life. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 11(3), 225-236.

    Weinstein, N., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). When helping helps: Autonomous motivation for prosocial behavior and its influence on well-being for the helper and recipient. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(2), 222.

    Gaining knowledge aids you immensely in managing both personal and professional life in an effective and efficient manner. A well-informed and knowledgeable person is always seen respectfully in the society and is referred to as an expert offering valuable advice and suggestions. One should always be interested in increasing knowledge, but knowing the fact well that the knowledge must be accompanied by wisdom. Improving knowledge and awareness and applying it effectively on the basis of a good sense is one of the important things to do which can make one’s life easier and better.

    There are two ways through which one

    Watching Television is also a good way to get updated information. Spare some time to watch TV programs, such as, news, discovery channels, quizzes and various competitive programs that provide good information.

    Start teaching others, as teaching not only helps others but it does to you as well. While you teach, you can focus on the subject and improve your concentration. In this way, teaching has two fold effects. By teaching others you can teach yourself while strengthening your learning process and making your concepts stronger by way of explaining others in clearer ways.

    If you don’t have it, then, acquire a new habit. That is the habit of writing. The habit of writing works more effectively in your learning process and the process of gaining more knowledge allowing you to gain full understanding on the subject. When you write about anything, you begin to think with different angels and try to write accordingly. This helps you a lot to learn by heart.

    Finally, I would like to mention this that you can study as many subjects as you want in order to become more knowledgeable person. It all depends upon your zeal and interest and eagerness. Some of the important subjects are: English Literature, psychology, sociology, Science and technology, history, religion, public administration, economics and political science etc.

    Written by:
    K.A.Fareed (FareedSiddiqui)
    Writer, Trainer, Author, Vba/Vb Developer
    BBA; MBA-Finance; M.Phil-Financial Management; (PhD-Management)
    MA-English; M.Phil-English
    Pursuing CMA-USA
    Individual Member of Institute of Management Consultants of India

    Article Written By FAREED SIDDIQUI

    I am an Individual Member of Institute of Management Consultants of India. I am a Professional with a high creative capability based on Business, Management, Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Finance and Management Consulting Field. I impart part time training and development programs. I write professional articles on business & management, business English and Software Engineering.

    What Is a Mentor and What Does a Mentor Do to Develop Your Employees?

    How to be more knowledgeable

    Mentoring is a formal or informal relationship established between an experienced, knowledgeable employee and an inexperienced or new employee. The purpose of a mentor is to help the new employee quickly absorb the organization’s cultural and social norms.

    Or, the mentor helps the continuing employee grow in their current position and become ready for new jobs and career opportunities. Mentoring can also assist an employee, new to a specific job or area of responsibility, to quickly learn what they need to know to succeed in their job and role.

    An overall career mentor can help an employee develop skills, take on more challenging roles and responsibilities, and generally, guide the progress of an employee’s career. This individual may work in the employee’s organization or, more likely, the relationship may have developed several companies ago or from a professional association relationship.

    A Mentor Is a Sounding Board, Sometimes an Evaluator

    A mentor can also serve as a sounding board as the new employee is assimilated into the company. The mentor can help the continuing employee become more knowledgeable and effective in their current job. They help continuing employees reach new levels of knowledge, sophistication, and career development.

    The best mentoring relationships involve the exchange of a particular body of knowledge that helps the new employee quickly come up to speed as a contributor within your organization.

    The mentoring relationship can also be evaluative in nature to assess the assimilation of the new employee in his or her new role. Mentoring is provided in addition to your new employee onboarding process and should have different content and goals.

    Mentoring helps the employee navigate the learning curve inherent in any new role, organization, or relationship.

    New Employee Mentors in Onboarding

    Many organizations assign a mentor as part of their formal employee onboarding process. Other mentoring relationships develop spontaneously and over time. All mentoring relationships are encouraged as research indicates that employees who experience mentoring are retained, learn more quickly, and assimilate into the company culture more effectively.

    “A recent Harvard Business Review article reports, “Research on junior to mid-level professionals shows that [mentorship] programs enable them to advance more quickly, earn higher salaries, and gain more satisfaction in their jobs and lives than people without mentors do. For employers, the benefits are not only higher performance but also greater success in attracting, developing, and retaining talent.” (deJanasz and Peiperl, 2015, p. 101).  

    A mentor is provided in addition to the other components in a new employee onboarding process. A mentor for employee onboarding may be the peer of the new employee, a coworker who is more knowledgeable and experienced or a supervisor or a team leader.

    Mentoring by Immediate Managers

    A mentoring relationship frequently occurs between an employee and their immediate manager; in fact, this was the normal mentoring relationship in the past. These mentoring relationships are still encouraged, but it is recommended that employees and organizations pursue additional mentoring relationships.

    A mentoring relationship with an immediate manager or supervisor never loses the evaluation aspects necessary for the employee to succeed within your organization including decisions about pay and promotions.

    Mentoring is a skill and an art that can be developed over time through training and participation.

    The Mentoring Buddy

    In many organizations, an employee, sometimes called a buddy, is assigned to a new employee for new employee orientation and onboarding. The buddy performs a role that is like the mentor’s, but the buddy is usually a coworker and/or a more experienced peer of the new employee.

    The mentoring buddy is expected to do everything that he or she can to assist the new employee to become fully knowledgeable about and integrated into the organization. The buddy relationship can last a long time, and the employees may even become friends.

    Often working in the same or a similar job in the organization, the buddy plays a special role in helping the new employee become comfortable with the actual job by training him or her. The buddy is also responsible for introducing the new employee to others in the organization.

    A good buddy provides additional assistance such as taking the new employee out to lunch with a small group. Another responsibility of an employee or coworker buddy is making sure that the employee is meeting the appropriate managers and members of the senior team.

    A buddy in conjunction with an effective new employee orientation will bring an organization a successful new employee.

    Seeking Out Additional Mentors

    Additional relationships with a mentor can develop spontaneously and over time. Or, an employee can seek out a mentor because he or she wants to experience the power of a mentoring relationship in his or her career growth.

    These unassigned mentors are often a more experienced employee or manager who can offer the mentee (employee receiving mentoring) additional information that the employee wants or needs. For example, a product team member seeks out a mentoring relationship with the manager of the marketing department.

    He or she hopes to learn how to understand markets and customers better before the team develops a product that no one wants to buy. This type of sought out mentoring relationship can foster much success in an organization.

    Mentoring Relationships Are Powerful

    Another instance in which a mentoring relationship is powerful occurs when an employee identifies career skills that he or she lacks. The employee then seeks out an individual in the organization who exhibits these skills and identifies that the employee is someone from whom the employee seeking a mentor believes they can learn the skills.

    In a less frequently pursued mentoring relationship, an employee can reach out to a professional they admire who works in a different organization. This mentor will lack the experience and understanding of the employee’s current organization. This is offset by the mentor’s general knowledge and experience in other organizations.

    These relationships generally form when an employee reaches out to a more experienced colleague. Or, they develop professionally over time through a relationship developed through such activities as an active professional association membership.

    How to be more knowledgeable

    How to be interesting (in 10 stupid-simple steps):

    1.Go exploring.

    Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where all the boring people hang out.

    2. Share what you discover.

    And be generous when you do. Not everybody went exploring with you. Let them live vicariously through your adventures.

    3. Do something. Anything.

    Dance. Talk. Build. Network. Play. Help. Create. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of ‘something,’ in case you were wondering.

    4. Embrace your innate weirdness.

    No one is normal. Everyone has quirks and insights unique to themselves. Don’t hide these things—they are what make you interesting.

    5. Have a cause.

    If you don’t give a damn about anything, no one will give a damn about you.

    6. Minimize the swagger.

    Egos get in the way of ideas. If your arrogance is more obvious than your expertise, you are someone other people avoid.

    7. Give it a shot.

    Try it out. Play around with a new idea. Do something strange. If you never leave your comfort zone, you won’t grow.

    8. Hop off the bandwagon.

    If everyone else is doing it, you’re already late to the party. Do your own thing, and others will hop onto the spiffy wagon you built yourself. Besides, it’s more fun to drive than it is to get pulled around.

    9. Grow a pair.

    Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is.

    10. Ignore the scolds.

    Boring is safe, and you will be told to behave yourself. The scolds could have, would have, should have. But they didn’t. And they resent you for your adventures.