Become a mentor: feeling the guiding force
Do you want to move your career forward? Do you want to develop your leadership skills as well as help others learn, grow and improve skills? Bea Udeh, Programme Producer at AMA takes us through the benefits of becoming a mentor.
Feeling the guiding force
‘With no external forces, a stationery object will not budge, and a moving object will not stop’.
Newton’s First Law of Motion.
With my engineering head on, I am drawn to Newton’s Laws of Motion. Looking at the First Law, there are some parallels to draw on for the mentoring process.
Mentoring can be a fun thing to do yet it's not a frivolous act. In fact, mentoring should be light and full of intent with the whole experience stemming from a need to push forward and encounter information in a safe space. What is it that you need to get you out of a certain mode of thinking, feeling or status?
You may think that the mentoring process is a head honcho to little underling relationship dynamic, but this is far from the case.
Remember learning how to brush your teeth or make your bed as a child? Remember seeking advice from a friend about how to navigate a relationship or deciding on a major purchase?
You pondered the goal. You acted upon the advice and guidance. Well, mentoring happens at all levels within a relationship, from one person to another; by a person with more experience (though not necessarily older) than yourself, yet has got a hack, a way of doing it, of making it work. So, the relationship can be informal or structured. Anybody can mentor you, but the level of trust involved means that you either know that person (close personal relationship) or the organisation delivering the programme, like the AMA. The period of mentoring can be a one-off thing, however, to be effective, you need to meet with your mentor regularly over a total period of time of say, 3, 6 or even 12-months.
Giving something back
Who are these mentors? Do you get invited to become a mentor or can you see yourself helping someone else navigate their journey around their career? After all, I think that we can agree that you can advise a toddler or an adult with limited knowledge on the ways to brush their teeth. It is true that working in the capacity of any role with competency may have taken some gumption, fire-fighting, maybe even some blagging to get to where you are in your industry sector. The most common reason that people give me for wanting to mentor a stranger or a friend is that they want to give back. The mentor-to-be says that they have now got to a level (confidence or seniority) and they feel comfortable giving back.
Positively impact another person’s career and gain personal satisfaction
During this set period of mentoring you may find that changes in your life: thoughts, feelings, status, do accelerate. You also gain a fuller appreciation for the gaps that you needed filling with the guidance of your mentor. For the mentor, there is an affirmation of what you have experienced in your own career, “Have you (mentee) tried looking at it from this perspective and how could it play out?”
Once you reach the end of the mentoring period, you will find yourself moving on to new experiences, which upon reflection may require a different type of goal, mentor or action. There are plenty more fish in the sea, so the mentor can throw their hook back in and sign up to take on another mentee. Evaluation shows us at the AMA that this process supports the mentor in their organisation to manage their teams more effectively and communicate with more empathy. Hey and as a mentee, you may find that this experience has encouraged you to want to mentor someone yourself, and so the cycle continues.
Develop your interpersonal, leadership and management skills
So, there you have it. Progressive growth and change underpinned by intention. Being a mentor, you can do all of this for somebody with who you will build a relationship. There is nothing super-special about you that calls you to this role. It is just a desire to want to support somebody else in whose shoes you were once in. Those shoes do fit you awfully well!
Bea Udeh, Programme Producer, AMA
The AMA runs a successful, year-round mentoring programme for its members.
Become a Mentor
You’ll receive in-depth training at the beginning of the programme to help you understand how you can establish a constructive mentor-mentee relationship, how to manage expectations, communicate in the role of critical friend constructively and get the best from your relationship with your mentee.
What will you get from taking part?
- Positively impact another person’s career and gain personal satisfaction
- Develop your interpersonal, leadership and management skills
- Increase your professional networks and learn from future leaders of your profession
- Increase your profile and the profile of your organisation
- Give back to the sector
Email Bea to find out more.
Please note that this is an AMA member-only programme. Just join the AMA to get involved.