10 Benefits of Being A Mentor

10 Benefits of Being A Mentor

Through mentoring, there is a mutual way of learning and allowing both participants to develop transferable skills to add to their respective experiences. Effective mentoring advances your mentee by spending time and know-how with an employee or a student. I wanted to be a good, if not a great mentor.

1. Improve Communication and Personal Skills

Initially, your mentoring relationship is working on building a rapport. The best way to do that is to listen carefully and provide relevant feedback actively. Developing your listening skills is an essential skill to have and to hone. Yet too often, we aren’t good listeners because we have short attention spans or conflicting demands. To be effective in our jobs, careers, and lives, we need to listen to understand, learn, and be empathetic.

By being a better listener, you can be a better partner, improve productivity, and understand more. A mentoring relationship provides a chance to practice these necessary skills while transferring knowledge to the mentee.

2. Develop Leadership And Management Skills

I wanted to be a Wall Street equity analyst in part because I didn’t want to manage other people. As such, you are an island focused on your industry group and individual stocks. We may have interacted with other analysts as colleagues, but we were not managing each other. However, over time, as I hired junior analysts who I mentored, I became their manager. Being their boss required a very different skill set. My junior analysts helped me learn how to lead them better to support our group through feedback, asking questions, and telling me what they needed to succeed.

Make use of the feedback mechanisms. I realized that my vision was not always the right answer and had to adjust to new ways.

3. Reinforce My Knowledge On Subjects And Provides A Different Perspective

As a mentor, you are imparting knowledge and your own experiences. Yet, mentoring is a two-way street. I have expanded my knowledge base and gained new perspectives as well. Many of my students are immigrants and bring their own incredible culture and educational backgrounds to the forefront. Accounting standards and financial markets differ country by country. Active conversations about trade talks with others from outside the US are fascinating. I enjoy learning from their experiences.

4. Promotes Self-Reflection

By sharing your experiences, you are reliving what worked for you. Your mentee is interested in what attributes and strengthens are needed in the workplace. Sharing your perspective validates your strengths and may even surprise you about how good you were at your job.

Even in revisiting some past failures, you may be recognizing mistakes you can now correct. I  relived past failures, a good lesson to share with mentees. Letting them know how you dealt with a problematic trade-off can be helpful. For example, when sharing some of the opportunities I once had, I recalled the trade-offs I had to make. I had received an offer with higher compensation from another firm, but I wanted to stay if I could expand coverage. It turned out I had made the better decision at the time. With hindsight, when speaking with my mentee, I realized a more in-depth view of my path and achievements.

5. Boost Confidence And Motivation

Teaching or advising others lifts my motivation for my field. Making time for others who want to learn from you reinforces any doubt of your worth. Transfering what you have learned in the past and helping others is exhilarating. Their enthusiasm is infectious and gives me energy. Hearing my students say that they appreciated my advice and their situation worked out feels good.

At college, I am part of a mentoring program on campus with several colleagues. We recently attended a conference recruiting students and faculty to join the expanding program. We all listened to each other expound on the various benefits we gained. There was tremendous energy as we all recognized these good feelings.

6. Advocate For Others

Mentors are part-cheerleaders, part-champions for their counterparts.  It is sometimes easier to advocate for others. Studies show women are better advocators than themselves. In a workplace environment, I went to bat for my junior analysts to get them better raises,  bonuses, and opportunities to travel to conferences. As their mentor, I knew how hard they worked at intense times.

Teaching self-advocacy is essential. I encourage my students to promote themselves. A big part of our mentoring relationship is to guide them toward understanding what differentiates a good student in and out of the classroom and readying them for their careers. Teaching others to speak up is a big part of career development.

7. Antidote To Procrastination And Anxiety

Providing coaching to others may stop you from pursuing yourprocrastination, according to a study. As a mentor, you are promoting the best version of yourself. While tracking other employees, you are likely to be more mindful of wasting time and avoid costly procrastination. It may help you to prioritize your own professional goals. Another study said that advising junior colleagues can reduce anxiety and improve mentors’ mental health in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour.

8. Opportunity To Volunteer

We are all looking for ways to improve our CVs and resumes. Effectively mentoring others is a skill to learn and practice. Mentoring programs are sprouting up in many environments and are found to be valuable ways to build communities. If you have a set of competencies and can spend time helping others, it is an enriching experience.

9. Expand Your Network

It is always good to meet new people, especially in your field. Cultivating your network may not necessarily be the motivating factor to be a mentor. However, good relationships are always good to have. I have kept in touch with many people I knew as students or junior analysts. I enjoy following their paths to success and many achievements. These connections are invaluable. Every friend we have had was once a stranger.

Treat your growing network as wealth. The value of each new person that joins your network expands your future reach.

10. Personal Growth and A Sense of Fulfillment

Employees who serve as mentors report greater job satisfaction and commitment to their organization. There have been several studies that link mentoring with career development and growth. In a 2013 study, Rajashi Ghosh and Thomas G. Reio found that mentors were more satisfied with their jobs and committed to their companies than non-mentors.

In many fields, a mentoring program shows potential employees a good corporate culture. An employee or supervisor taking someone under their wing promotes a different kind of bonding and global knowledge sharing. A supportive environment is right for the organization.

Employee engagement can reduce turnover, always a critical goal. Mentoring others is an effective way of experiencing work as meaningful. A 2015 study by Pam Kennett and Tim Lomas based on in-depth interviews produced findings that experienced mentors enhanced work-related fulfillment.

Final Thoughts

Mentoring relationships are win-win for both participants. For the mentee, it means gains insights and experiences from a seasoned person wanting to help you in school, career, sports, or at your workplace. The mentor realizes personal fulfillment while supporting a mentee. There may be hidden perks like improved habits such as listening carefully to others and reduced procrastination. I have always been grateful for the honor and opportunity to mentor someone.

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