As you begin your journey toward becoming a mentor, you will need to thoroughly understand the role of mentoring.
Look at a role you are already familiar with. Most of us have had a supervisor, a boss or coach who has made a positive difference in our lives. Those people wore many hats.
They acted as, delegators, role models, cheerleaders, policy enforcers, advocates, and friends. As a mentor you will wear these same hats.
Mentors understand the need to assume a number of different roles during the course of a mentoring relationship, but successful mentors also share the same basic qualities:
• A sincere desire to be involved with a young person.
• Respect for young people.
• Active listener.
• See solutions and opportunities.
• Be flexible and open.
As you and your mentee begin your relationship; exploring values, interests and goals, you will find yourself making a difference and having a positive effect on their life. What you may also be surprised to see is that you will be learning more about yourself, too.
Mentoring doesn’t just affect the young person. Mentoring is a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Many mentors say that the rewards they gain are as substantial as those for their mentees. Being a mentor enables them to:
• Have fun.
• Achieve personal growth, learn more about themselves.
• Improve their self-esteem and feel they are making a difference.
• Gain a better understanding of other cultures and develop a greater appreciation for diversity.
• Feel more productive and have a better attitude at work.
• Enhance their relationships with their own children.
Good mentors are willing to take time to get to know their mentees, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and even to be changed by their relationship. Accept the challenges and rewards of mentoring a young person and experience the benefits that will last each of you a lifetime.
Go ahead—get started, find a mentoring opportunity today…
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