Mentoring benefits - becoming a mentor
Have you been helped by various people in your life, and you are looking for a way to pay it back and help others?
Do you get a kick out of helping others succeed in their business, career and life?
Do you have great business skills and experiences but don’t have a way of sharing these with people?
You should really consider becoming a mentor, because you have all the hallmarks of being a great one.
Did you know that a mentor gets just as many personal benefits from mentoring as the mentee.
This article will explain some of the many benefits a mentor should experience which should hopefully encourage you to take action and get out there helping others.
Mental Health Benefits
I like to put the health benefits first when discussing mentoring benefits. This is especially important with the today's sharp focus on people's mental health and its degradation due to COVID and isolation, the blurring of work-life and personal life and a whole range of other things.
Latest research from Gallup shows that people are feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever before. As mentioned in the research, one way to reduce the feeling of self-isolation is to increase more human connections and this is where mentoring helps. Mentoring allows two people to come together and share their stories and experiences and go on a great journey. It’s another human touch point and mentoring relationships normally form into friendships.
"One way to reduce the feeling of self-isolation is to increase more human connections and this is where mentoring helps".
Mentoring helps improve your self-confidence. Being a mentor and helping others succeed provides you with the self-affirmation that your actual skills and knowledge are important. This realisation that you do know a lot of useful information gives a great boost to your own confidence.
Mentoring can lower your levels of anxiety and strengthens your mental resilience. People’s well-being is a hot topic right now, which covers both physical resilience as well as mental resilience. Mentoring is a great way to strengthen a person to the turbulence of today.
Listening to your mentee’s achievements and concerns, and providing guidance on them also helps you put into perspective the issues going on in your life. A solution that your mentee comes up with could also benefit you.
Personal benefits from being a mentor
The health benefits you gain form mentoring are significant and this alone should encourage you to give mentoring a go. But the benefits don’t stop there.
Positively impacting the lives of others
Becoming a mentor gives you the opportunity to give back and help other people thrive in their business, career, and life. The beauty of mentoring is you are using your own hard-earned skills and experiences to do it.
This is a fantastic way to bring happiness and joy into your life as you feel you are making a difference. You become part of a community of people who realise that helping others is one of the most rewarding things people can do.
Mentoring helps reaffirms your abilities
As noted in the mental health section, becoming a mentor is a great way to reaffirm your abilities. You know a lot of great “stuff” in that brain of yours, but a lot of it is stored in areas that haven’t been accessed for a while.
During your mentoring journey, your mentee will bring problems and situations which provides you the chance to recall that “stuff” and bring it the forefront. Suddenly, those long-lost experiences are remembered and those skills earned are fresh.
Seeing your mentee benefit from this guidance makes you realise that you know a lot more than you give yourself credit for. Whoosh, now here comes the boost of confidence for you!
Mentoring brings improvements in your softer skills.
Being a mentor is a great way to improve softer skills such as active listening, providing suggestions not solutions and being open to other ways to solve problems. These are the skills you will be using the most when you are successfully mentoring.
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” - Steven Spielberg
For example, active listening is a great skill to have but few people get the chance to really practice it. When a mentee comes with a concern, your initial reaction may be “I know this problem, I am going to tell them the solution to fix it”. Don’t, because your solution may not be the right one for them and you also don’t fully understand their original concern.
Instead ask open questions, such as “can you explain more about this concern” or “why is this a concern for you”. Really listen to the answers, ask more questions, rephrase their answers back to them to show you understand it correctly.
The mentee should be doing most the talking and you are doing most the listening.
Then ask them what they are thinking of doing about it. Work on their solution and give guidance where guidance is needed, but don’t just spoon fed them your solution and expect the same results.
Soon active listening will just be something you naturally do.
Mentoring provides you with new ways of thinking and different perspectives.
As mentioned above, being a mentor involves a lot of asking open questions and listening to the answers. Doing this will naturally open you up to other ways to solve problems and to see things from another perspective. This can only make you stronger as a person and as a leader and it’s a great benefit you get from being a mentor.
Mentoring helps you learn a new skill, area, trend, or technology.
Here is a great thing about mentoring that sets it aside from coaching. During a mentoring journey the mentor learns just as much as the mentee because it naturally becomes a two-way street of learning.
Your mentee will have skills and knowledge that you do not have.
It could be they are working in a completely different industry and can share insights from how that industry works and what are the problems it is facing right now.
Perhaps they are from a different generation and can share with you what matters the most to them which will probably differ from what matters to people in your generation.
Or maybe they are working in a field of expertise that you have had no exposure too but are fascinated to know more about.
For example, I am originally from the oil and gas sector. I have had mentees who have their own drones company, started a bilingual Chinese school, built a human-leadership company and are recognised as a global expert in hydrogen safety. The knowledge I am getting back from them through mentoring is phenomenal.
One question we always get asked by our Next Level Mentees is “how can we give back to our mentors?”. We advise them to share their own knowledge and skills at every opportunity because they know things that their mentor does not know but would benefit from knowing.
How can I become a mentor?
Hopefully this article inspires you to take action and become a mentor for others. We help people like you learn the skills of being a good mentor and also make it easy for mentees to find you and start learning from you.
Please visit The Mentoring Program and click on becoming a mentor to start the mentor registration process.