Mentoring: A Job of Impact

If you are considering mentoring someone younger and/or with less experience, here are some things to ponder before taking action:

1. Is mentoring for you?

Most effective mentors truly, deeply enjoy helping other people grow and develop. Make sure you’re likely to enjoy the process before you take it on. Make sure you have the time and flexibility. If your schedule is already overloaded or you’re under stress, you might want to consider holding off on a mentoring commitment until things are a little less hectic.

2. Make sure you know what you bring to the table.

A jack of all trades is a master of none. Do not feel pressured to mentor people in all aspects of life. It is important to know and understand what you are good at and where your experience lies. In his book, Winning, Jack Welch says that “There is no one right mentor. There are many right mentors.” From your perspective, that means you don’t have to do everything. You aren’t the only place that your protégé should get help.

3. Know which individuals you can relate to and impact the most.

The bottom line is, mentoring should be a pleasant relationship for both parties. Try to find the younger you in others. Search for signs of your former, inexperienced self. When you find and recognize these signs, it is likely that these are the people who you can most effectively impact. Use your past as the lesson plan. Both your successes and failures are valuable to one’s you are mentoring.

Mentoring can be one of the most rewarding/impactful jobs one can take on. However, make sure you are able and willing to make the time commitment, along with giving 100 percent of your effort. The worst thing one can do is to just have one foot in the door. This gives off a vibe that you don’t consider it a priority and it could have negative implications on the ones you are mentoring. Understand that this process is about having a genuine, positive impact on others which they in turn, can pay forward to the next generation. Also, keep in mind that mentoring others doesn’t only mean that you give your knowledge to others. There is a common misconception that mentoring is one-sided. In reality, the amount you receive is just as much if not greater. Mentoring can open your mind and introduce you to so many amazing and inspiring stories and people. You should both grow and develop. And you should both make a friend for life. Mentoring isn’t just a job. It is a job of fulfillment and true, lasting impact.

Published by Zachary Paul Hoffman

I am a former professional athlete, tri-lingual, Italian/American duel-citizen and aspiring modern-day leadership development expert.

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