Just about every success story involves the influence of one (or more) mentors along the way. Mentorship can provide benefits to both the mentor and mentee, helping build long-term relationships while developing leadership skills and gaining new perspectives. Becoming a mentor doesn't need to be a formal or time-consuming process; it can be as simple as setting a couple of days a month aside to have lunch with a newer colleague or family friend who could use some career advice. Read on for some of the expected (and unexpected) benefits you may be able to realize by becoming a mentor.
Boost Communication and Interpersonal Skills
At the outset of your mentoring relationship, you'll be building on your existing communication skills by establishing a rapport with your mentee. This means actively listening, asking questions, and providing feedback that might be helpful. Though you may assume your primary role as a mentor is to give advice, in many cases, simply listening can be helpful.
Expand Your Perspective and Encourage Self-Reflection
Once you've been in your career for a while, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut—performing tasks the way that seems most efficient to you and analyzing problems based on what has happened in the past. This level of experience can provide you with a leg up when it comes to tackling new issues, but it can also lead to stagnation. Mentoring helps you expand your perspective, question your routines, and challenge yourself whenever you find yourself absentmindedly answering, "that's the way we've always done it."
Improve Confidence, Motivation, and Personal Growth
Whenever you teach or provide advice to someone else, it can help spur your own career motivation. You may be drawn back to the beginning of your own career, reliving the feelings of excitement and anticipation you got while you were still learning the ropes of your job. Transferring this hard-won knowledge to someone else can boost your own confidence and give you a fresh burst of career-related motivation.
Mentoring can be an especially effective way to attract new talent to an organization. It’s important to continue maintaining this mentoring relationship even after the mentee has begun working at the organization. By providing historical, institutional knowledge of the organization's practices to your mentee, you'll be able to help them better fit into the company culture and hit the ground running when it comes to making tangible contributions.
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