Those who choose to go beyond the call of duty to improve society through changing lives come in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to mentoring, one size does not fit all. There must be a specific need the mentor meets which links the mentor to the mentee, so he best way to maximize the benefits of mentoring is to focus on one mentee at a time.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS OF MENTORING: THREE KEYS
1. Focus on one life at a time.
Human needs are like magnets that draw us to the one who meets those needs and can address them specifically. A child who needs a father figure will benefit most from a fatherly man. A teen who needs to be guided back on the right path will benefit from a clergyman, teacher, coach or anyone who’s been where the teen has been and knows how to get back again. Mentors guide us to become what we would never have been without them, so the more focused the mentor is with the mentee, the more beneficial it will be for both. Even so, we can’t minimize the benefits of those who coach or choose to meet the needs of a community through working with groups, because they address individual needs too. The key to the benefits of mentoring will always be the fact that just changing one life makes it all worthwhile.
2. Identify the need to be addressed.
The mentor must be aware that he or she is mentoring to maximize the benefits of focusing on one mentee. They are aware and prepared to meet the needs of the mentee who is aware that the mentor can meet those needs. In other words, the mentor needs to be someone the mentee admires and respects as having some specific character trait or quality that the mentee is seeking. If the mentee just needs someone to listen with time and attention, the mentor will be prepared to focus every moment spent with the mentee on listening and attending to that need. If the need is to achieve a particular career, the mentor needs to be seen as an expert in that field. A pilot will mentor those who dream of becoming pilots. Teachers mentor future teachers, and men and women of any particular church will mentor future spiritual leaders. When the need is identified, the benefits will be maximized.
3. Be proactive and see the potential.
The mentor will need to be proactive while addressing the needs of the mentee and able to see the potential within the mentee. When mentors are able to do this, they can best assist the one they are mentoring to achieve their dreams. They do this through setting a good example, demonstrating how it’s done and showing them the benefits. They reveal the secrets to success by providing wise advice, backed up with evidence that proves to the mentee that the mentor is wise and knows how to help the mentee achieve his goals.
When the mentor is able to make a predetermined determination that the mentee has the ability to achieve, mentoring becomes the motivational key that unlocks what blocks success. They inspire the one they are mentoring by identifying with them. They say, “I’ve been where you are today and I’ve done what you are doing. Follow me, and I’ll show you how to get to where you want to be.” That’s why the mentee will see that the mentor is able to guide them to a new and improved destiny.
Mentors who choose to change one life at a time, change entire societies. This is true, because you see, mentoring leads to a new mentor in a new and improved community. That’s why mentoring is a wise thing to do and when we use the three keys in maximizing the benefits of mentoring, the possibilities for the mentee become endless.