The magic of mentoring

There are many benefits to mentoring, and some of the biggest benefits are how the mentor grows as he gives.

A couple years ago I reported the figures below, which I found on the Big Brothers / Big Sisters website.  I have no idea how these figures were determined, but they certainly are believable. A child with a mentor is:

  • Become a mentor80% more likely to finish high school
  • 46% less likely to use drugs
  • 27% less likely to use alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school

The website also reported on numerous other happy benefits of mentoring, which really is an exercise in community-building at the micro level.  Mentoring is an investment, not a cost.  It’s an investment in helping the mentored grow and reach his full potential, and it is equally an investment in helping the mentor grow – because there is so much potential in the mentor waiting to burst out, as well.

That’s right, you grow at least as much by mentoring as by being mentored.  You learn valuable leadership skills that you can’t learn through books or courses; leadership is learned only by doing.  You learn management skills, similar to leadership skills in many ways, and also learnable only by doing.  You learn problem-solving skills, because you are helping the mentored person solve his problems.  You learn interpersonal communication skills, too, which is pretty obvious.

Most of all, you learn to give of yourself.  This is not a skill, so much as a virtue.  It is what makes each of us a better person, when we help someone else, and that is something as important as any skill we can learn.  After all, why do we exist if not to help each other?

It has been said that when we reach a hand out to help someone else, to pull someone else up, we lift two people with that one arm.  Talk about miracles!

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Comments

  1. Great post on mentorship. It is true that when you give of yourself, you get just as much out of it as the person who you are helping, if not more. It also keeps you on track and accountable. Thanks again for the great post, I’m sure it will inspire many to look into mentoring.

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