Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Ten Best Reasons to Be A Mentor

Jill asked a great question on the Mentor-me-Meg Update post - Why should someone be a mentor? What's in it for them? To help answer that question, I have put together a list of the top 10 benefits of being a mentor.

1) Sharpens your skills. Working with a mentee requires you to stay on top of your game. As you help someone else develop their ideas and work through their challenges, you sharpen skills that may have sat dormant for several years.

2) Brings new business ideas to your table. Working on someone else's business issues invariable leads to creative ideas for your own organization.

3) Rejuvenates you with re-newed enthusiasm. One of the early lessons that salespeople learn is that enthusiasm is not made but transferred. Working with an enthusiastic mentee is one of the best ways to add a spark of enthusiasm to your own life.

4) Provides personal satisfaction that comes from helping someone else succeed. Human beings have a natural desire to teach others what they know. One of the great joys in life is knowing that you contributed to someone else's success. When you mentor, you give someone the greatest gift of helping them succeed. Being the giver of this gift is incredibly satisfying.

5) Offers new ways of looking at things. Mentoring often takes place between people of diverse backgrounds. Working with someone of a different age, gender, race, geographic location, culture, or industry provides opportunities to view business issues and the world through a new lens.

6) Creates an avenue to "pay it forward." Has anyone helped you in your own career? Mentoring is a great way to "pay it forward" and help someone else.

7) Expands your network. We all travel in different circles. Your mentee's network might include contacts that can benefit you or your family or your organization.

8) Adds variety into your life. It is very refreshing to set your company and your life aside for a brief period of time and focus on someone else's interests and issues. It's like taking a mini-vacation from yourself.

9) Allows you to master the art of training/coaching. Being an outstanding trainer and coach is important regardless of how high a position you hold in your organization. Mentoring is an excellent way to practice these skills.

10) Helps you implement a mentoring program within your own company. Being a mentor helps you understand the best way to leverage mentoring programs in your organization. There are many strategic benefits to having a mentoring culture in your organization. Corporate mentoring programs help companies with talent development, succession planning, new hire acclimation, and improving employee retention. Many companies have multiple programs such as a general corporate mentoring program, a mentoring program for high potential employees, mentoring programs for affinity groups such as women or diversity groups, and/or mentoring for new hires or new supervisors.

Special thanks to Bruce H. Daly, President of Nobscot Corporations's Mentor Scout Division for his thoughts on the benefits of being a mentor. Also acknowledgements to two of my favorite books on mentoring, The Elements of Mentoring by W. Brad Johnson and Charles R. Ridly and Mentoring, A Success Guide for Mentors and Proteges by Floyd Wickman and Terri Sjodin.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

women mentoring each other definitely benefits both parties! sometimes without even knowing it!

10:30 AM, November 19, 2008  

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