Throughout this month I have been talking about #Mentorship mostly from the perspective of the mentee. I want to share benefits of mentorship to the mentor
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As I close off the mentorship series, I am sharing benefits to mentors with the hope of encouraging mid to senior career professionals to taken on young(er) less experienced professionals in their circle under their wings. Here are 6 benefits:
1. Build your communications skills
One of the key qualities of being a mentor is being a good listener. As you spend time with your mentee you hone your listening skills and your communication skills as you reflect back to them what you have heard and as you figure out the most appropriate advice to provide to them. This will not only help you professionally, it will also help you personally
2. Reverse mentorship may occur
As I discussed on my post on the qualities of a mentor, a mentor should NOT expect any favours from their mentee. That being said, organically the mentee may end up reverse mentoring their mentor. A classic example has been the virtual workplace that we are now becoming used to in the covid19 context. An intern or a younger employee can reverse mentor older colleagues in technology use, discovering networking platforms such as slack, help them up their TikTok or Instagram Reels game or even show them how to send their first tweet. While this is NOT a requirement of mentorship, a mentee can also offer learnings back to the mentor.
3. Satisfaction knowing you have impacted someone
There is nothing more rewarding than giving your time to someone who needs it or providing advice to someone who then comes back to you and tells you that it really helped them. I can't explain how many times a friend has come back to me and said I am so grateful for the advice you gave me or for hearing me out - it helped me in this way. I jump up and down and rejoice whenever someone whose essay I read gets back to me and says I got in to the program. There is a deep satisfaction that you get from pouring into people just to hear that it helped make their life better!
4. Building leadership skills
Before becoming a manager I had mentored for several years. As a researcher, I mentored graduate students and eventually supervised them. As a Senior Analyst and Senior Advisor I mentored junior analysts by guiding them as they navigated various situations at work. While you generally shouldn't mentor ONLY to gain experience and climb the corporate ladder, mentorship provides you with an opportunity to build leadership skills, having empathy all of which will again assist you both professionally and personally.
5. Mentored people mentor people
You've heard of the expression hurt people, hurt people, healed people heal people. Well the same goes for mentorship:
Mentored people mentor people - Brenda the Career Slay Mama.
Mentorship creates a cycle of people supporting people as they see the benefits not only for themselves but also for those who they support.
6. Expanding your perspectives
If you haven't formally explored the possibility of being a mentor, I encourage you to do it as there is someone in your circle or not in your circle that could do with guidance. I also want to encourage you to mentor someone who is not from the same background as you - someone from a different, race, gender, ethnic background, someone who speaks a different language than you do.
Some of the most impactful mentorship I have received have been from white male colleagues who have provided me with really valuable advice. Don't limit yourself or the people who you could mentor or who could be mentored by you. - Brenda the Career Slay Mama
If we keep mentoring only those who look like us, there will always be someone who is left out. Your mentoring someone who is a visible minority or someone from an underserved population can literally make the difference between changing someone's life and even transforming a community particularly given that mentored people mentor people.
What spoke to you the most in this post?