Find personal and shared growth when mentoring others
WITH BERNARD NUNIES
SHRM-SCP, SPHR, SHRM HAWAII VICE PRESIDENT OF SERVING THE PROFESSION AND DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES, HAWAII PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
Serving as a mentor requires care, time and an abiding interest in building the future of another person, but that doesn’t mean it is only about sacrifice. Mentors benefit greatly from successful advising partnerships, and good instructors know that “teaching” also often serves as a wonderful way to learn.
Q: How does mentoring help the mentor?
A: When a mentor and mentee are both from the same company, the more senior mentor may see increased motivation in the workplace. Mentoring, and strong professional friendships, can also promote stronger workplace bonds and improve employee engagement. Mentors have the opportunity to assess their own personal values and experiences, and deeply consider how they define best practices. A mentor can cultivate allied professionals in their field, and mentees can tap access to networks that can enhance their careers.
Q: Are there any other ways that mentoring can help me in my own career?
A: Building a relationship requires improving your own communication skills. Mentoring will hone your coaching, active listening and speaking skills. When done well, mentoring strengthens your interpersonal skills. I always look forward to learning from my discussions when I serve as a mentor because they give me ideas that I can put into action.
Q: Is there anything that I should worry about when serving as a mentor?
A: Mentorships are meant to guide individuals in both their professional and personal lives, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to “tell” your mentee how to be like you. All mentees must, of course, find their own way. Help your mentee achieve his or her own goals by sharing stories that shed light on leadership skills. Mentors should not do the work of the mentee, but should serve as a safe and encouraging source for mentees to figure out their next, best move.