I have had some great mentors throughout my career, both on a technical and non technical level.

My career would not be where it is today without the help of these experienced, clever and giving individuals.

Especially the Russian one.

I have also mentored and coached hundreds of people during my career, helping them be the best they can be.

But why should you mentor?

It is the right thing to do

I always believe in doing the right thing and mentoring is one of these.

Helping others grow is a way to give back to your organisation and the people who have mentored you in the past.

It also is just great to help other people grow.

It does not matter what level in the organisation you are at, you have skills and experience others can grow from.

Reinforced learning

[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Peter F. Drucker”]No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.[/pullquote]

Teaching others reinforces you own learning of the subject.

Your mentees will ask you some very difficult questions, some that you will know the answers to and some you will not.

For the questions you do not know the answers to, you get to research the subject further and expand your learning.

You may also recognise that you have learnt more than you thought.

I have also found that mentees have been able to teach me a few things as well.

Expands your network

The more people you mentor; the more people you get to know in your organisation.

This expands your network of colleagues that can help you further down the line when you need it.

Who knows where your mentee could end up one day.

Feel good factor

It just feels good, helping others with your opinion and advice.

It is great to see others grow in their careers from the help I have given them and I love hearing how their career journey is progressing.

Recognition

Mentoring others not only gives you positive recognition from the mentee, but it can also give you recognition from your peers, your boss and their peers as well.

You are helping your organisation grow by growing the people in it.

What could that do for your career?

Lifetime

Mentor/mentee relationships can last a lifetime. I have not worked with one of my old bosses for over 6 years now, but I still consider him to be my mentor who I can ask advice from at anytime.

How do you start?

Find out from the Human Resources department if your company has a formal mentoring programme. If so, ask to join it and you will be matched with one or more mentees.

If there is member of your team or another team that you feel you could help, then just speak to them about a formal mentor/mentee relationship.

I tend to do both as well as mentor people from other companies.

Everything your mentee tells you should be kept confidential and you should ensure that they understand this so that they are open and honest with you.

Always get the mentee to set up the meeting, the location and control the agenda.

You can see from this, how much they want to engage and learn.

It is your important time. If they are not committed, why should you be?

If they are constantly late or do not turn up, it is time to question whether the arrangement continues.

You may need to stop wasting your time and find another mentee who can use your help.

This is unusual though. I have found most mentees to be fully engaged to learn.

Wrap up

I hope you can see that mentoring is the right thing to do for you and others.

What is stopping you from starting today?

Your coach
Nick @nicholas.foster.com