A mentor is often someone in a leadership position who takes it upon themselves to transfer skills to the up-and-coming movers and shakers in the industry to enhance their careers and help them advance. While taking on the mentor role is designed to help the mentee, the experience is not one-sided. Being a mentor offers you a fantastic opportunity to enhance your skills and become a better leader.
Learn Open and Supportive Communication Skills
Communication requires both the message sender and the message receiver to do more than act passively. As you learn the communication process and how it all works, you’ll become a better communicator who listens and speaks with thought and concern for supporting the other person in their understanding.
Practice and Perfect Your Listening Skills
Mentors need to listen to their mentees to know what they need. Just the act of needing to hear is good practice for you for the rest of your career because listening is a skill that most people need to practice more often. Listening isn’t just hearing. It’s listening with the intent to understand in an active way that requires you to ask questions to get answers.
Learn How to Provide Constructive Criticism
When you mentor someone, you need to give them feedback. As a leader, you will often be tasked with providing feedback to all kinds of folks to help ensure the impact you’re making and the results you’re producing are as top-notch as you desire. However, sometimes this is a forgotten process that is ignored. When you mentor, you need to do it as it’s the primary function of the relationship that you learn to do positively. This positive feedback will help you in all areas of your leadership.
Encourages Lifelong Learning
While a mentor’s key role is to help usher the less experienced person into the meat of their career, the truth is that it allows you to learn more. Getting stuck in old ways of doing and thinking is common, but when a less experienced person comes along and asks new questions based on their unique perception of the world, you’ll be forced to learn new things that will take your career to the next level too.
Establishes New Strong Relationships
Even though a mentor is slightly ahead of the mentee in their career, the relationship you build as you help them navigate their life and career through your experience can help you later. Furthermore, these relationships are made in a mutually respectful way, which will carry over into other avenues of opportunity.
Increases Your Professional Credibility
If you are known as the person who takes the time to help others and open the door wider so others can come through, it just makes you seem even better. As a leader, you’re not worried about someone taking over from you, and you want someone to do that eventually, so you help create future leaders by your mentorship.
Builds More Self Awareness
When you help someone slightly behind you with experiencing the success you have thus far, it feels good because you get to see yourself from a new perspective. The more views you can see yourself, the more you get to know who you are and what is important.
Improves Your Coaching Skills
Most leaders are tasked with coaching others through solving a problem, but they may not realize it. Once you mentor someone, you’ll start to notice ways to use this skill within the workplace or your business and even in your personal life with your family.
Finally, taking on mentorship can help you become a better leader. As you build your people skills with each mentee you take on, you’ll become a much more knowledgeable, open, and respected leader who is not stuck in the old ways.
Until next time, stay safe and keep the faith.