January is National Mentoring Month! What are some qualities that you remember about your mentor? Was it the amount of time they spent with you? Or was it the mere fact that they seemed to listen to your opinion? Mentors make a lasting impact in the lives of their mentees.
So what is a mentor exactly? Mentors come in a variety of forms. They are official and un-official mentors. Mentors can be older than you or they maybe the same age as you, but possess more experience in a specific expertise. According to Merriam-Webster, a mentor is “someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.”
Just in case you were thinking about being a mentor, I compiled five tips to bee-ing a great mentor.
- Bee passionate about your mentee
As a mentor, one must be passionate about their mentee and the idea of mentoring before even committing to becoming their mentor. I’m not referring to a physical interest either, but rather a curiosity in their passion and purpose in life. For instance, my official and un-official mentors all have an interest in my overall success.
- Bee willing to continue learning
Mentors lead by example. Phil Collins said, “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” How can someone become a mentor if they aren’t learning as well? You are only as good as your teacher. A good mentor should always be willing to continue learning.
- Bee able to acknowledge good and bad moments
Mentors will acknowledge their mentees through good and bad times. Mentors will slap your hand when you need to adjust your attitude and praise you when something great happens in your life. The best mentors will support you no matter what you are facing in your life.
One of my mentors will let me know when I missed my goal. It will make me feel disappointed in myself initially, but my mentor would then encourage me to re-evaluate my goals.
- Bee capable of sharing their experience
“Mentoring is: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness,” Janet Thompson said. Mentors share their experience with their mentees as a teachable moment.
Mentees learn the best lessons from mentors’ knowledge.
I learned the majority of my lessons from my un-official mentors. I am associated with different groups from my sorority sisters, career professionals, bible study, church family, and fellow writers. We discuss a variety of topics that have a heavy influence in my life and goals.
- Bee open-minded
An open mind is an important quality for a mentor to possess. In order to have an open mind, he or she must be willing to accept and respect all ideas from their mentees.
What are more tips for someone interested in becoming a mentor?