What Mentors Gain
Back then, as a young mentee, I was always overly grateful to my mentors. Many of them were busy and I felt like I was receiving tremendous value while giving them little in return. Now that I’m older, and I’ve been both a mentee and a mentor, I learned that this is not true. Mentorship is a two way exchange.
Here are a few things I receive from mentoring others:
- Teaching Others. One of the best ways to learn is to teach. And the mentee-mentor relationship is similar to the student-teacher relationship. Great mentees ask thoughtful questions that help mentors examine past experiences. As UFC fighter Ken Shamrock says, “To become great, you need someone better you can learn from, someone lessor you can teach, & someone equal that can challenge you.”
- Confidence boost. I remember the first time I got a mentorship request. It was validating to know that someone respected me and what I’ve done, enough to ask me for help.
- Network building. This is not a reason why I mentor but I think it’s worth listing here. Mentoring others is a form of betting on someone young. And if the mentee succeeds, they become a powerful ally in your network whether it be for introductions or opportunities.
- Pay it Forward. Mentorship is one of those unique areas that have a pay it forward mentality. I’ve had many mentors in the past that helped me get to where I am today. They didn’t ask for anything in return. I see mentoring others as a way of paying it forward.
- Raising ambitions. The best mentors raise the ambitions of their mentees. This might be one of the highest impact things we can do.
- Rewarding. One of the best feelings is when I see my mentee succeed.