Mentoring can be incredibly rewarding for both the mentor and mentoree. In a successful relationship, mentors provide a safe environment for developing leadership and other professional skills, promote growth for their company, and gain personal satisfaction.
Many organizations are challenged with finding committed, quality mentors, however. The biggest objections for prospective mentors tend to be the following:
- Fear of the unknown (What is this mentoring "thing" anyway? What do I have to do?)
- Thinking they don't have enough time (Is this going to be one more thing that eats up my calendar when I'm already stretched too thin?)
- Concerns over not being "mentor material" to begin with (What, ME mentor someone else?)
While all are legitimate concerns, we believe the benefits greatly outweigh the fears. Check out these three motivations for becoming a mentor and share them with people you're trying to recruit:
1. Be that person who pays it forward. Remember when you were that stressed rookie? As a mentor, you can help make that transition easier and help instill leadership skills while you're at it.
Most people need guidance on how to become an effective leader and your expertise can help develop the next generation of leaders. Here's how:
- Impart your valuable insights and experiences as the expert that has been there, done that.
- Challenge your mentoree to think in new and different ways.
- Empower your mentoree and build his/her confidence.
- Introduce professional and networking opportunities.
2. Become a valued company asset. As a mentor, YOU are contributing to the success (and bottom line) of your company.
By developing high potential employees, you are positively affecting your company’s succession planning and talent retention challenges. Management will take note (in a good way).
3. Achieve self-actualization. Mentoring can enhance your professional and personal development in big ways.
- Gain fresh perspectives by working with a diverse population. Learn about different people and positions within the company.
- Attract more networking opportunities by building relationships outside of your area.
- Get great exposure to new ideas, trends, and emerging technologies from conversations with your mentoree.
- Develop your ability to self-reflect. Seeing your job through your mentoree’s eyes may give you an outside perspective that may help you answer tough questions about your own career. It may also re-energize your career.
- Strengthen your coaching, leadership, and active listening skills. All of these skills will help you in your own day-to-day work.
- Experience a strong sense of accomplishment in sharing your expertise and helping others.
- Stay mentally sharp! A good mentoree will challenge you with questions and creative insights.
So what are you waiting for? Consider becoming a mentor today. It’s sure to be life changing for you and your mentoree!