Why Mentoring Matters
As I write this, I can think of a handful of people who have impacted my life over the years. I consider these individuals to be mentors whether or not the relationship was a formal mentoring one, and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am without their influence. They have helped me by simply listening and cheering me on when I wanted to give up. They became a lasting network of trusted support I can reach out to when I need it.
In return, I value the opportunity to serve as this kind of support for others. It isn’t so much about sharing knowledge in my opinion as it is about walking alongside someone and sharing in their story, and I find that I learn as much from the people I get to mentor as they learn from me. This is particularly satisfying when I get the chance to connect with someone from an unfamiliar culture or background. It is in these situations that the relationship generates more personal growth and satisfaction. I have become a better leader because of these experiences.
Mentees can also benefit from working with mentors in several ways. Having someone who will listen and gently guide without judgement is invaluable for personalities from any background. This is particularly true for individuals who have not experienced strong role models in their past. It can also be a plus for those with a weaker support network to engage with a mentor who is prepared to model good communication skills and can result in the capacity to build their network in a way that impacts work success.
Mentoring can create a framework for individuals to explore options outside of their lived experience and will generally foster a network of career and social support. Having someone who will check in with you on a regular basis and allow you to share your ideas can help reduce anxiety. By connecting on a personal level and finding security and trust there, a person is more likely to become open to new ideas and experiences.
These relationships can also benefit someone with very little professional experience to see their true value. When a person is encouraged and able to see how they can add value to a relationship, they are more likely to stay in the game longer and have a greater level of commitment to whatever they put their hand to.
Ultimately mentoring is about relationships, and this is the key to a good mentor/mentee experience. Each partner benefits because a mentoring partnership flows both ways. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the relationship in a meaningful way. There are many programs that incorporate mentoring into their platform of support. BETTER WORK is one of those.
A BETTER life begins with BETTER WORK.
Giving Hope to Others
As a work mentor, you can help someone with more than just creating a resume or practicing for an interview. You can help them:
- Find resources
- Develop contacts
- Explore careers
- Set goals
- See their value
If you would like to explore the world of mentoring, I encourage you to find a good program that provides training and will support you throughout your experience. BETTER WORK Columbus is one program that can provide you with the structure needed to make a mentoring impact.
To find out more and mentor with BETTER WORK Columbus, go to BetterWorkColumbus.org and select the “Become a Mentor” link in the menu bar.