Are you professionally successful and have achieved your first goals? Now you want to take the next steps and are already planning diligently? Surely many experts have helped you along the way and you should consider whether you want to give something back and pass on your knowledge to a young person as a mentor?
What is mentoring?
Mentoring goes back to the historical roots of Homer’s Odyssey. When Odysseus joined the campaign against Troy and left his native Ithaca, he asked his friend Mentor to take over the education of his son Telemach. This was one of the first historical mentions of mentoring.
According to Google, mentoring is one: advice and support from experienced professionals or executives.
Be a mentor’s benefit
The advantages of mentoring are manifold. I would like to mention some important ones that motivate me on a daily basis.
- Mentoring allows you to give something back. It creates a very good feeling and I believe in karma anyway (spiritual concept, according to which every action inevitably has an consequence): Whoever does a lot of good gets a lot of good back.
- Mentoring trains you as a mentor. You can continue to practice how to listen actively and not passively. This is a very important trait and make you an even better leader.
- Mentoring increases your self-esteem. Especially in difficult times, you realize that you are important and needed.
- Mentoring strengthens your ability to establish and develop interpersonal relationships. They can even better put themselves into others.
- Mentoring helps to reflect your career. Why? On the one hand, the mentee asks you many questions and on the other hand you encourage the tips you give the mentee. They recall a lot of things.
- If you are not an executive, you can coach new employees and thereby improve your leadership skills and also take this as an argument in the employee conversation.
Process of mentoring
The mentoring usually takes place in such a way that you simply talk to the mentee in a relaxed atmosphere in the first few weeks. I always keep it very informal and the mentee can ask me his question. This usually helps enormously.
I tried the more structured variant with protocol and goals for the conversation, but I find it stiff and forced. I always demand that mentee know quite concretely what he wants to know. As a rule, we go through the following phases:
- Defining Professional Goals/Direction (1-5 Meetings)
- Recommend concrete steps there, try it out and reflect together (5-15 meetings) – Accompaniment of the mentees
- Introduce key network partners (if needed)
My Tip: Mentees should come to you. Simply look at professional events or in the office for suitable candidates and indirectly offer mentoring.
This is how I did it
I myself started actively as a mentor in 2015. I wanted to give something back and also reflect on myself. I had many mentors myself and was very grateful. I set out to give something back every month 1 day, so 8h for it.
I started with students in a career program at my university. I gave selected students a year of tips on starting a career in consulting. I still do that to this day.
Effort: Once a month 2 hours of mentoring in a cafe.
Afterwards, I supervised numerous bachelor’s and master’s theses during my doctorate. So I coached a lot of students, so to speak. In the meantime, I also make phone appointments and help students. In this 1h coaching I help the students with a very concrete problem. There are not any follow-up dates.
Effort: Approx. 3h per week by phone
I have been a manager myself for 2 years and have recently been helping young leaders take their first steps. I meet with the young executives at business events and in the office.
Effort: Approx. 3h per month
The big advantage is that you learn many skills through mentoring and also reflect a lot on yourself. They learn to be even more firm in their own role and also act in the everyday lives of sovereigns and thus rise faster themselves. I myself invest about 8h per month for mentoring, which is exactly 1 working day. I think this is a good benchmark.
My tip is: You should support other people as a mentor, but always have your own mentors. Reading tip: Finding a mentor
Image source: Shop photo created by pressfoto – de.freepik.comGenderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.
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