As a leader, you’re really busy and we know it. So while mentoring the next generation of leaders may sound very rewarding, you might worry that you just don’t have the bandwidth. But here’s a factor that might tip the balance a little: mentoring can also benefit you by making you a better leader.
Mentoring is a two-way learning experience and as such, it can be a great way to improve your leadership skills. A big part of being a great leader is how well you work with others to meet their needs. Mentoring outside of your immediate environment is an excellent way to learn more about how other people think, how they work, and what they need.
Here are 3 ways mentoring helps you become a better leader.
Become a Better Listener
One of the most valuable skills a leader can have is active listening. To be a good mentor you need to help your mentee achieve their goals. This requires you to actively listen to them. To ask relevant questions so you truly understand their main obstacles or challenges. The better listener you become, the more helpful your advice and guidance will be. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to flex your active listening muscles and develop them even further.
Give Better Feedback
Giving feedback in a way that will be well-received is a very important part of leadership. Feedback is still something that a lot of people fear and would rather avoid because they see it as criticism or a discussion of the things they have done wrong. However, receiving feedback is the best way to grow, learn, and get better. Mentoring is the perfect way to practice giving feedback and to start feeling more comfortable receiving it as well.
Broaden Your Perspective
Mentees can teach too! They can keep their mentors up to speed with current tools and technologies, help them learn to work with people of a different generation or background, and give them new insights into topics such as diversity and inclusion.
Working with a mentee from a different company, culture, industry, or location is a fantastic way to be exposed to new ways of thinking and learn from what other people are doing. There's a lot of valuable insight to be gained by discovering how your mentee thinks. Mentoring is a unique opportunity to get a look into how others approach or handle similar challenges and may broaden your leadership perspective.
Mentoring also helps you see things with new eyes and will help you see multiple perspectives. Learning to appreciate those perspectives then enhances your problem-solving skills, helping you to generate a variety of different solutions to difficult problems.
In short, mentoring is an essential skill every leader should strive to achieve. Whether it is sharing a best practice or teaching from personal mistakes, good leaders can become great through mentoring.
Great leaders build people up and inspire greatness. So whether you shape the next great entrepreneur or help someone achieve their dreams, you'll make a difference in both their lives and yours!
Start Your Mentoring Journey
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