Did that person give you advice, encouragement, and guidance? Did you look up to that person and become better thanks to the attention they gave you?
If so, you are probably one of many people who had a mentor!
Mentors are invaluable, and many people have had one at some time in their life. The best part is that you’re never too young to be a mentor. High school students, middle-school students, college-aged youth, and young professionals can be a mentor to someone else.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is usually someone older than the person being mentored, who takes a personal interest in the success and well-being of another. They not only share knowledge, skills, and experience, but also discuss new ideas and help the mentee work out solutions on their own and with guidance.
A mentor challenges, protects, offers support, shows patience, and is enthusiastic about helping their mentee grow and be successful.
While those qualities may seem a bit overwhelming, it’s important to know that anybody can be a mentor, no matter what the age. Even students still in high school can start mentoring by reaching out to someone younger. The mentor should ask questions about what is important to the mentee, and above all, should be a cheerleader for that person by boosting their confidence and leading them to success.
What Does a Mentor Do?
Some examples of what a mentor does include:
- Provides the same type of help that you do in everyday life. If you naturally “help others,” you can use those same practices in a mentorship role.
- Provides information and advice based on your own ideas, successes, and experience.
- Encourages others to take positive risks and have a positive and healthy outlook.
- Offers honest and constructive feedback.
- Helps with planning or thinking through a problem or challenge.
- Listens to the concerns, points of view, and dreams of the mentee.
- Shares different views and ways of thinking.
- Introduces that person to others who can help and advocate on their behalf.
Why Be a Mentor?
Being a mentor doesn’t just help the mentee. It is also a chance to look at yourself more closely and explore your own opportunities.
You have the chance to become more successful and confident as you instill those qualities in another person. You’ll also become more open to reaching out to your own mentors who can help you succeed in school, college, or your career.
By mentoring, you improve your personal and professional responsibilities as you learn, grow and become more accountable to others. As you model the professional and personal values that others admire, you will teach them how to live up to those values.
In terms of leadership, you can’t go wrong with becoming a mentor. Talk to your school’s counselor or company’s HR department about how to become a mentor. It’s a move that can help you – and someone else – succeed!