Mentoring is an opportunity to self-develop, expand your skill set and practice continual learning. And according to research mentors are 6x more likely to be promoted compared to their co-workers. (Source)
Improve Communication and Personal Skills
It’s all about good communication, empathy and building rapport. The key skills to learn are about asking open-ended questions and active listening. Being a better listener has many flow-on effects on your career and personal life.
Providing insights and encouragement to others can be a powerful motivator. Many mentees comment on how the encouragement of others gave them the impetus to push forward often changing their career trajectory. Many go on to develop leadership skills that they were initially oblivious to before the mentoring relationship.
Employees who serve as mentors report greater job satisfaction and commitment to their organization. There have been several studies that link mentoring with career development and growth. In a 2013 study, Rajashi Ghosh and Thomas G. Reio found that mentors were more satisfied with their jobs and committed to their companies than non-mentors.
Gaining new perspectives
As a mentor, you are imparting knowledge and your own experiences and those you others you have witnessed. Yet, mentoring is a two-way street as in the discussion you will expand your knowledge base and gain new perspectives.
By sharing your experiences, you are reliving what worked for you. Your mentee is interested in what you did, what dilemmas you faced and why you chose to make those decisions. Sharing your perspective validates your strengths and may even surprise you with how good you were at your job.
Making time for others who want to learn from you reinforces any doubt of your worth. Transferring what you have learned in the past and helping others is exhilarating.
Networking & Reinforcing Your Relationships
Mentoring is more than just asking great questions, listening and sharing experiences. It is about giving your mentee access to great resources, which in this case is your network. Introductions to other key players can help open their minds and create opportunities.
For you, this will help to reinforce your role as a mentor in the marketplace and cement many of your relationships.
Keeping Up to date
You cannot be an expert in everything, and many mentors use the relationship to stay up to date. This can manifest in many ways. One example is in the latest technology and apps. A mentor knows she is a “techno dinosaur “and always asks her mentees what their favourite apps are and why. She then implements the pick of them getting her mentee to constantly update her on the best application.
Take Your Own Advice
As a mentor, you are promoting the best version of yourself, strongly aware of the advice you are sharing. As most mentoring relationships focus on goals & achievement this often flows back to the mentor to “take their own advice” and help you to prioritise your own professional goals.
Expand Your Network
Your network is your net worth it is always valuable to meet new people. The value of each new person that joins your network expands your future reach. Over time the relationship will change with mentees of today possibly becoming friends and allies of the future. In some cases, the relationship become a mutual one of sharing and two-way mentoring.
Become more Promotable
Being recognised as a mentor by adding a credential to your resume is always an added benefit. Doing a good job and following this up with recommendations from mentees on LinkedIn will add to your overall kudos.
Being a mentor is a privilege to be able to pay it forward and share essential thought processes on how you achieved something. Or sharing how others you know overcame hurdles and dealt with problems. The single goal is to support and help the mentee achieve their goals and dreams.
While anyone can try their hand at mentoring, the best mentors have the skills to teach, advise, and direct mentees towards their goals. This is not some innate skill where we should be tapping our senior leaders on the head. Great mentoring is a learned one and is best honed through “best practice” teaching and accreditation.
Here is an example of how mentoring worked for Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. She tapped into her network to find mentors who had the experience and expertise she needed at different stages. Her career was influenced by two pivotal mentors. She explains that different people see certain aspects as one grows in their career, and this perspective helps you focus on what’s important in a given moment.
One mentor advised Barra to be more vocal in meetings, while another taught her the importance of keeping commitments. Through her network of mentors, Barra could weigh multiple opinions and perspectives and make informed decisions. Her success demonstrates the importance of having multiple mentors and mentoring opportunities.
Are you ready to become a Mentor?
Many people are full of self-doubt as to whether they are worthy of becoming a mentor. Often, they have the perception that great mentors are like Confucius, philosophers and very rare. The key criteria are the desire to pay it forward to, to be empathetic to others and to have their best interest at heart. Plus, you need to have experience, generally, at least 10 years to share and a good network. If you have the former but not the latter then don’t be disheartened coaching would be another approach you can take.
Mentoring = Coaching + Shared Experience + Network
If you are hesitating on stepping forward to be a mentor, then consider whether these 10 benefits are worth it for you. Remember being a mentor is a key part of the leadership journey, all great leaders today are also mentors.
Like all skills, it is best honed through learning best practices. Despite the lack of formal learning in many companies, you can become a great mentor through accreditation. Don’t be limited by only your experiences as a mentee. Learn questioning & active listening skills and access a framework for mentoring success and step into your future as an accredited mentor.
Check out the Mentor Masterclass where you will gain global recognition with CPD accreditation and become an accredited Mentor today.