Yep. It’s true. To be a better leader, you need to be a mentor.
We talk often about the mentee from why an employee might benefit from having a mentor and how to structure the mentoring relationship to formalizing (or not) a mentoring program in your organization.
We measure how the mentee grows, takes on more projects, performs better or “out teams” those that aren’t mentored. Of course, the mentee benefits from the mentor’s skills, knowledge and guidance.
But here’s another real-world benefit of mentoring: the mentor benefits.
By sharing your experience and insights, you help another person grow. Turns out, that not only does the mentee grow from you, but the feeling of helping another is good for you.
Positive feelings can be calming and help to reduce stress. The positive feelings that come from knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life can be the start of a feedback loop that ensures that you’ll continue to support mentoring and being a mentor.
And while traditional thinking about mentoring has the information flowing from mentor to mentee, the reality is that a continuous interaction between two people can’t help but impact both of them.
If you have chosen to mentor a younger person, chances are their energy and excitement might well be contagious. You could be a whiz with technology, but it’s likely that if your mentee is younger, they can teach you a few things in that arena.
If you choose to mentor someone of a different culture or gender, strong possibilities exist for you to learn more first hand, about their values, views and areas of potential contributions within the organization.
The relationship you establish with a mentee can move you out of your comfort zone as well as theirs. Your relationship will establish you as open, helpful and interested in others’ growth.
And that can’t help but make you a better leader!
Boxer Advisors, LLC, is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.