“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ― Robert Frost
Many of us were fortunate enough to have mentors as we grew into our leadership roles. Now it’s our turn to pay forward.
The mentor/mentee relationship must spring out of genuine respect and empathy because it’s quite a personal one which thrives on honest and open communication. That means you may not be the best choice of mentor for everyone in your team. But that’s OK. There are people in your team who really do need you. They are the ones you should be working with.
Why bother being a mentor? The biggest reason is that it is a form of personal and professional development. The process will hold a mirror up in front of you so you can assess the type of leader and person you are.
Remember, mentoring is a learning process for both of you.
Benefits to Mentors
- Personal satisfaction, not only because you are helping someone but because you can see their progress and know you have helped them get there
- Clearer vision. You will see situations through the eyes of another person, giving you a better perspective on the way your team works.
- Improved leadership skills
- The chance to update your own skills and knowledge
- A reputation as an expert in the area on which you are mentoring
- A more prepared and capable team which you are developing through your mentoring process
Benefits to Mentees
- Individual attention
- Development specifically targeting their needs
- Live and hands-on learning, which brings better results than formal training
- A solid and honest relationship with you, the mentor
- An independent point of view on topics which bother them or need to be considered
- Improved competence and confidence in the leadership role
- Accountability for not following through on decisions
- Support – no matter what.
I think Robert Frost’s quote sums up the role of the mentor. While we can teach to pass on skills and knowledge, our real value lies in the awakening of our mentee’s consciousness of their own abilities and their potential. We can’t usually see our own potential; it takes someone with awareness and understanding to point it out and show us how to leverage it.
You are a leader. You have a great team. How strong could each individual – and therefore your whole team – become if you were to mentor those with whom you really connect?
Phone 1300 719 665 www.soniamcdonald.com.au