This article was written by PromoKitchen Chef Marshall Atkinson.
At PromoKitchen, we’re constantly looking for mentors to help drive our goal of pairing up people who need a guiding voice.
It is obvious as to why someone would want a coach, but I thought I would list a few reasons why being a mentor is something that you need to seriously consider.
Let Me Show You The Way
First, let’s start with the most common. Mentoring allows you to give back to the industry that has brought you success. Volunteering your time and knowledge helps the industry as a whole, as it elevates the brain power all around.
Think about it as guiding someone up the mountain. You’ve been hiking up this same trail for years, and know every step. For someone starting out, it seems like they not only have to find their way up the trail, but are doing it blindfolded.
Guiding someone allows you to point out the easiest trail to success, but also what to avoid along the way.
North Star Adjustment
Mentoring is also about connections. As people, we thrive on connectedness. Deep down inside, we want people to like us and appreciate what we know.
Having deep conversations about goals and experiences can also help you reevaluate your own direction. When you talk about your own North Star, and answer the “why” questions that surround that idea, you may realize that you’ve strayed off target a little.
Helping someone define their direction can also define yours.
Creating an Ally and Friend
The mentor/mentee pairing can also result in an industry ally and even friendship. Starting out, you will be strangers. After a bit, you will come to realize that you are on the same wavelength about the industry as a whole.
New ideas and results will be shared back and forth. Important news will be discussed. “Did you hear that so and so…?” or “What’s your opinion on this…?”
It’s good to share stimulating conversation with someone. What you will find is that you are not always in the teacher role. Quite often you will be absorbing information or tactics that you might not have considered. Now, you have another ally and friend in the business.
Flexing Your Active Listening Muscles
One of the main mentoring tasks is asking questions. You might start the conversation with an easy, softball question such as, “Explain to me the problem you are trying to solve.”
This sets up an entire series of questions that will be based on whatever your mentee describes. That digging for the truth and desire to comprehend every nugget of information is called active listening.
Finding and solving those pain points is what mentoring is all about.
Active listening strengthens all relationships. It’s about being present in the conversation with empathy. Mentoring can help build and refine this skill for you. It’s like sharpening a knife as you use it.
Be Someone’s Guide Up the Mountain
Lastly, one of the best things that I have found with mentoring is that you are building something positive. Mentoring is a good thing. Don’t we need more positivity in our lives?
Helping others initiates a fantastic sense of self-worth. Deep down, doing the right thing is always satisfying.
Sure, it’s a utopian dream. If you help someone, and they help someone, and that person helps someone… Imagine the possibilities.
It all starts with you offering your hand.
Can you show someone the way up the mountain?