Mentoring is a practice that is touted by many contemporary companies. You have probably also heard it referred to as “coaching”. No matter what it is called, it is a practice that, obviously, is an asset to those being mentored (mentees).
But, have you stopped to think that there are also significant benefits to those doing the mentoring? The article below from “The Chronicle” helps point out some ways where the benefits of mentoring not only flow down to the mentee, but up to the mentor. You see it is not a one-way street.
The lessons you teach can serve as a relearning experience for the mentor. As you increase the confidence and the posture, it improves your own and reinforces the skills that got you to where you are. So as you remind your mentees to have confidence in themselves and their personal resources, take an inventory of your own realizations.
Mentorship forces you to step back to when you were being mentored. As they ask questions you will be faced with your own past experiences that will put their questions in the context of your experiences. How did I learn that? What helped me when I was in their position?
Just because you are now the mentor does NOT mean you are all-knowing. Keep perspective on the perceived hierarchy and remember you can learn from those that you mentor, as well. So keep an open mind and be willing to learn from them. They are usually younger than you are and have a much more contemporary perspective than yours.
Let your mentoring experience make you a better leader. Bear in mind that, as you help them, you should be helping yourself increase your leadership skills. And always be aware that the mentoring journey is all about them. What you get back is collateral knowledge. They are happy to share with you because of what they have gleaned from your relationship.
The company, with which I have associated myself, has established the mentoring (coaching) process as the cornerstone of owning and growing a healthy business that will pay “lifetime” dividends. It is so integral to their culture; it has been incorporated into the Mission Statement. I keep it on my desk so that I am able to review it every day.