Sourced with thanks from thriveglobal.com
A Mentor is someone who is a guide, a motivator, a teacher, an advisor and also someone who is called upon to kick the occasional butt as a wakeup call. If you have been a mentor you may relate well to these roles. If you haven’t experienced that yet, maybe its time to explore the possibilities of leveraging your years of experience and insights gained to be a mentor to some young people. It may even be in an informal setting. As an older person, there are many advantages of being a mentor and these positives are listed out by the author in the article below. Team RetyrSmart
How sharing your experience and insights as a Mentor comes back to make you a better person
Here are 10 key take-aways from my involvement in the mentoring programmes
- Reinforce your skills and knowledge
When you share your expertise and experience with your mentees, you are reinforcing what you know by transferring the knowledge to them. You also get a chance to reflect on your years of practice with the insights you provide them. By doing so, it not only helps to accelerate their growth but also encourage them to embark on a similar journey – only now, with more confidence.
- Increase your confidence and motivation
By sharing stories of your life and career journey, you are exuding confidence about your skills and capabilities. When your mentee can relate to these, it becomes a source of motivation for you to do much more to help them. You never learn something so completely till you teach it to another person. At the same time, by exchanging views with your mentees, you get to understand how they perceive things and issues as the youth of today.
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- Enhances your emotional intelligence
Mentoring helps you to be more mindful and shift your thoughts towards appreciating and respecting other people, especially the younger ones. It enhances your self-awareness and avoid having the thought that someone is incompetent or incapable. Having higher emotional intelligence helps you to build stronger relationships with your mentees and achieve your goals in the programme.
- Practice interpersonal and listening skills
The mentoring programmes involve heavy interaction and conversations. Thus, while sharing is good, it is even more crucial to be active listeners. It is essential to hear our mentees out and not only to point out their mistakes. While we may be tempted to give them all the answers, try not to. Instead, engage in discussions by sharing your thoughts and get them to decide on the best course of action.
- We become their cheerleader
As mentors, we become our mentees’ greatest cheerleaders. Always show support and enthusiasm and provide guidance or successful examples of how we did it in the past. I make it a big deal to celebrate every small achievement my mentee makes – because it means a lot to them. When we show that we are rooting for our mentees, it helps them break their barriers and build confident and resilient youth.
- Bring out the best in them
Mentees see us, mentors, as their source of inspiration. Take time to get to know them, their interests, passions, dreams, and what drives and motivates them. Once you understand their strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to work on goals that will bring the best out of them to succeed.
- Direct access to Gen Z and their behaviours
What better way than getting direct intelligence information about what makes and breaks our Millennials and Gen Z by hearing directly from the horse’s mouth! The interactions with your mentees on a personal and in-depth knowledge level can help you understand what their personal and professional aspirations are. That way, you can develop programmes and sessions that can be aligned to meeting their career goals.
- Expand your network
Being part of the mentoring programme is not only beneficial for your mentees but also for the mentor tribe. We get a chance to exchange our ideas, views, and increase our circle of friends from different industries and expertise. It also opens up new opportunities for possibly a new career shift or even explore new business deals.
- Gives a sense of fulfilment
Beyond sharing of knowledge, as a mentor, you act as a professional and psycho-social support group for your mentees (and sometimes fellow mentors too!). While some of us get paid, you may do it as a personal fulfillment or a chance to pay it forward to your community. Whatever our reasons are, give your full commitment, be excited, and enjoy the ride.
- Channel your positive vibes
As mentors, we model positive attitudes and vibes. Demonstrate and teach our mentees traits that will bring them far like hard work, resilience, patience, grit, a sense of curiosity, adventure, and continuous learning. Share with them materials, videos, courses, workshops and connect them with people such recruitment consultants that can make them be more prepared and career ready.