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In Joelle Klein’s article titled, “The Value of Mentoring”, she discusses how mentoring another person can be a valuable experience. Mentoring is typically implemented in schools, universities, places of employment, religious organizations, and youth programs. Mentoring does not necessarily have to take place between a mentor who is older and a mentee that’s younger, it can occur between peers or even a younger person mentoring an older person. There are motivational, attitudinal, career, and health benefits that can be gained from being mentored. Not only do mentees benefits from a mentoring relationship, mentors can experience positive rewards. Mentoring can assist in helping you have purpose and feel needed. 

If you are going to enter a mentorship relationship, then it is best to make sure it lasts at least 12-18 months. Research has shown that relationships that only last six months have not shown positive benefits, while those less than three months have actually shown to be more harmful than positive. It is important to find the right person to mentor. Oftentimes, they may seek a relationship by speaking with you directly or joining a program. It’s important to identify what exactly the mentee wants to learn from your guidance and if they are ready to learn and grow in their areas of interest. It is best to avoid mentoring someone that you may be supervising because it can cause jealously among employees or even cause the mentee to be less likely to take risks. 

Once a mentoring relationship has been established it is important to identify the mentee’s goals and what they want for their future by asking clarifying questions. It is critical to ensure that during this conversation the two of you are able to establish the mentee’s goals and vision, rather than what you think they should want. It is best to meet and build your relationship on a regular basis in order to achieve the set goals. During the meeting times, it’s important to ask probing questions that get them out of their comfort zone. There should be a dynamic that allows for feedback between the mentee and mentor in order to facilitate growth and find ways to improve the relationship. As a mentor, being intentional about how you’re interacting with the world around you, especially when working with youth, is critical for setting a good example. Youth, in particular, may not have had the opportunity to see certain actions like holding a door for someone or saying thank you. This can be beneficial for them to see. To be a successful mentor, it can be helpful to reflect back on those who have had a positive impact on you throughout your life. This can inspire you to be the best possible mentor.


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