Five Eye Opening Reasons to Become a Mentor
The mentoring relationship is built on mutual trust, respect and communication, but many people see it as a pretty one-sided thing, with the mentee benefiting from a wealth of experience and knowledge, while the mentor basks only in the glow of their altruism.
We disagree. That street goes both ways.
But other than the satisfaction you’ll feel watching your mentee thrive, what exactly might you expect to gain from the arrangement?
- “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
Few things help cement existing knowledge so well as teaching it to someone else. You’d better know your stuff inside out and back to front if you’re going to have a hope in hell of explaining it to a rookie. Reflecting on your own practice can also open your eyes to fresh approaches and perspectives that you may not have otherwise considered.
- “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford
You may think the mentee is the one who’ll be doing all the learning, but you might be surprised by how much you find they have to teach you. Remember, your mentee was in school more recently than you were and will, in all likelihood, be more up to date with the latest information, techniques and technologies.
- “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
Mentoring has the ability to impart knowledge you’re unlikely to glean anywhere else. You’ll learn about yourself, first and foremost, but you’ll also learn how to bring out the best in others, recognise strengths and weaknesses, be diplomatic, while still getting results and to give good advice and support. In short, you’re likely to learn how to be a great leader. Mentoring also counts towards your CPD requirements, meaning tangible proof of your increased experience and a greater chance of career progression.
- “Practice yourself what you preach.” – Titus Maccius Plautus
We’re all guilty of failing to heed our own advice sometimes, but a mentor is also a role model and if you’re extolling confidence and self-worth in your mentee, then you might remind yourself, while you’re at it, to practice a little self-kindness once in a while. Strive to a higher standard, sure, but don’t be so hard on yourself all the time.
- “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson
And last, but by no means least – the next generation is our planet’s best hope. Mentoring is your opportunity to share your knowledge, experience, compassion and hope, things that new CIEEM members are going to need in spades. By working together, we believe we can make a difference, leading to a world rich in biodiversity for the benefit of us all, now and in the future.