For the last two years, I’ve been in a mentoring relationship at work. I say mentoring relationship, because even though I think my role is technically the mentor, I’m pretty sure half the time I’m the mentee.
I knew a little bit about mentoring from some research I had done and from people I’ve known that have benefitted from having a mentor. But I had never taken the step to approach someone to help guide me in my career.
It’s been such a rewarding experience and I can safely say I’ve learned as much from Matt as Matt has hopefully learned from me. I’ve also learned a lot about myself and what I have to offer to others.
Here are some of the benefits I’ve discovered–some expected, and some quite unexpected–of mentoring.
- In a mentoring relationship, you are constantly learning and sharing. Matt and I both blog and are involved in our kids’ school parent councils—we share ideas regularly on how to promote our blogs and council events through social media.
- When Matt first approached me about being a mentor, my first thought was what could I possibly offer? I’ve learned that I have a lot to offer from years of experience dealing with people and issues at work.
- Having someone you trust and can confide in is precious. Recently, I shared something with Matt that I have not shared with my team or my boss. It was something quite personal, and it felt good to be able to open up to someone who wouldn’t judge me and help me gain perspective and support me.
- A mentor is a great sounding board. Often in our careers, we know the right course of action, but you just need a bit of advice or affirmation you’re doing the right thing.
- A mentor can help you achieve your goals. By sharing your goals and making them “talk goals” you are far more likely to achieve them.
- Having a mentor can also broaden your perspective and give you insights on other areas of the organization.
Tips to get the most of your mentoring relationship.
- Meet regularly—we aim for 30 minutes each month
- Try to set one goal or topic for each meeting
- Trust is key—find someone who you can trust and who will respect your confidence
This week’s #HappyAct is to find someone who you can help you grow. Want to hear the flip slide? Read Matt’s perspective on mentoring next week.