I am always honored and humbled when asked to be a mentor. I always think “What can I contribute?” Yes, as a mentor, I have the opportunity to build my leadership and management skills, build an enduring career network, and get satisfaction knowing that I am helping someone achieve their professional goals. In addition, I receive affirmation of my professional competence.
What is the role of a mentor??
The role of a mentor is to encourage the personal and professional development of a mentee through the sharing of knowledge, expertise and experience. The mentoring relationship is built on mutual trust, respect and communication.
A strong mentoring relationship is also built on collaboration and the commitment to the professional development of one or both of its participants. While in the typical mentoring relationship, one participant has more experience, skill, knowledge than the other, many strong mentoring relationships provide an opportunity for both parties to learn from each other through the development of a caring and respectful partnership.
To reap the benefits of mentoring requires that proteges and mentors be carefully matched.
Through my association with local universities, colleges, and business development centers, I have been blessed with wonderful, cooperative and willing mentees. I have learned more as a mentor than I think my mentees have learned from me.
Mentoring is more than the transfer of advice, knowledge and insights. The relationship offers reciprocal benefits for mentors willing to invest their time. As well as the personal satisfaction of sharing their skills and experience with a willing learner, being involved in mentoring also provides some tangible benefits that can reward mentors professionally. Some key benefits for mentors include:
-Provide opportunity to reflect on own practice
-Enhance job satisfaction
-Develop professional relationships
-Widen your understanding of different organizations and businesses
-Enable you to practice interpersonal skills
-Provide personal satisfaction through supporting the development of others
So I encourage you, if you are presented with the opportunity, “pay it forward” and become a mentor. Share your knowledge and experience. And, you will learn so much!
Written by Francine Brooks, President of FB Displays & Designs, Inc.