Mentorship is servant leadership
Many people have been mentoring for all their lives but never thought to give it this formal name. Mentors can be many things to a Mentee: counselor, advisor, coach… and they are the people who have knowledge and experience and stories that inspire. A mentor is someone who cares about your success and wants you to be the best you can be. They do this by offering their knowledge, insight, perspective and wisdom that can circumvent and give a short-cut to the mentees as they navigate the rocky road of a career path.
Mentors get to realize and better understand that they bring the value of their experience and expertise. The thought of knowing that someone will excel because they shared their knowledge and insights with them is often a reward in and of itself.
Mentorship is two-sided
Mentoring is a two-sided relationship. Many times the Mentor learns as much as the Mentee does – Mentoring can hone the act of listening for the Mentor and allow them to see things from a new vantage points.
Mentor and Mentees work together and form a partnership, which means there should be reciprocity, where both the mentor and the mentee are a part of the conversation. The mentor will certainly have more experience, depth and wisdom but that doesn’t mean that the mentee is only a receiver, they are also a contributor to the conversation.
Just the act of partnering creates a reciprocal relationship. So many times over the years in my coaching practice it is a mentee or a direct report that has cleared the way for one of my senior clients to hear about the perfect job opening for them, or an introduction or one my senior clients was called by a former mentee who heard about a job that she knew was the perfect fit for her boss and they ended up working together again.
The Mentor and Mentee are both on a journey to self-discovery, self-growth and lifelong learning as they become more active listeners, hone their emotional intelligence, and gain a deeper understanding of self and others.
Journey for self-growth
The Mentor and Mentee both are on a journey to self-growth as they learn to become better listeners, acquire coaching skills and gain a better understanding of self and others. Sometimes the Mentee just needs to know someone cares as they struggle with difficult growing pains in the world of business.
The world is changing and we all need a friend as we go through change that is happening at the speed of light. We all need a vote of confidence in our work and who we are and this is an another aspect that the Mentor can bring to the Mentee as their self-esteem grows and their confidence in what the value is that they bring to the table.
Journey of self-reflection
Superstar Mentees ask thoughtful questions and are self-reflective, they are clear on what they want, need, and are always prepared. They take action on advice, they don’t let grass grow under their feet and are open, even welcome feedback. When a Mentor opens a door for them, they show their gratitude, then they run, not meander or walk, but run through the open door.
Mentees know or learn quickly that it is up to them to direct the relationship and in this vein, they make sure that they are worth the time and energy of their Mentor. They make their Mentors fall in love with them, and they never forget to say, “Thank you.”
Journey of lifelong learning
There is an adage that says, “When we take one step, the gods take ten.”
When you are open and are ready to increase your knowledge, skills, and emotional intelligence, Mentors will show up and introduce you to worlds you didn’t know existed. They will show you how to summon courage when you feel like you cannot take that necessary step to the next level.
We are all an accumulation of people who took the time, the effort and the energy to invest in us. We all need people who are willing to make a difference in our lives. Take it all in from those who offer you help, and become the person you are meant to be, who will later share your experiences and wisdom with the next generations.
Have you ever noticed how the most powerful people on the world stage practice reciprocity by having many Mentors and Advocates who help them and whom they help?
Consider for a moment how Mentors can help you to expand your vision, help you see new possibilities, help you increase your knowledge, skills, and emotional intelligence. As you gain your own weight, stature, experience, knowledge and wisdom you will talk about the Mentor to whom you owe your success as you as you sit across from your Mentees.