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The Art and Act of Mentoring – Afrigrowth Foundation

The Art and Act of Mentoring

Mentoring now plays a key role in our societal system that wishes to pass on their hard earned wisdom to the younger generation. But how to ensure that such an approach works most times becomes a major issue? This article explores issues you may wish to bear in mind, issues like:

1. When selecting mentors

2. defining the role of mentors;

3. and running a mentoring session

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The role of mentoring in organizations and your professional life is rarely discussed, and yet it is so critical. That is why most non-governmental organizations such as AfriGrowth Foundation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 professions rely on volunteers assigned with program officers. Someone is able to understand the nonprofit cycle from a book, but how to develop proposals for programs, how to build partnerships, how to fundraise for programs; these are things that someone has to show you how to do.

It is therefore vital to acquaint ourselves with the knowledge of why there is need for mentors and who a mentor is.

Why Mentorship

Mentorship has obvious benefits for both the mentee and the mentor. You’ve probably read articles that talk about the knowledge, connections, and personal growth that mentorship can provide.

But one day, someone might reach out and ask to be mentored, or you might be invited to any of the AfriGrowth Youth Mentoring Series to mentor young people on particular sphere of life.

What will you do in this situation? If you’re struggling to see the value in becoming a mentor, consider these additional advantages that mentorship can help you realize.

 

  1. Achieve personal career gains. Mentors are people who will go the extra mile to help others and exert a positive influence on their lives. And that can lead to huge career opportunities.

 

  1. Enhance your leadership skills. When you teach someone, you truly become a master on that subject. You not only reinforce valuable leadership lessons, but you also question and refine your own thinking and approaches.

You’ll find yourself working harder to live up to the expectations of your mentee. After all, you can’t advise her to work hard and do things you aren’t willing to do yourself. With the mentee’s spotlight on you, you’ll push yourself to grow.

 

  1. Help shape the leaders of tomorrow. Mentees will often (but not always) be younger than you. It’s easy to think the next generation needs more education while you have it all figured out.

But the truth is that this generation are the ones creating the workplace of tomorrow. They understand trends and technology that may escape you. If you watch your mentee closely, you’ll almost certainly pick up some information or habits that are new and beneficial to you.

When you decide to mentor someone, you really have no way of knowing how far the person can go. Whether you shape the next great entrepreneur of our time or help someone achieve her dreams, you’ll make a difference–and that’s all that matters.

Who is a Mentor?

A mentor is not a mom, a therapist, a boss, or a role model. A mentor is a guide. A guide that helps you see farther in a particular way of life, pointing out varieties of ideas you may have overlooked that is needed to help you have a smooth drive.

 Mentoring differs from teaching in many ways. With teaching, the teacher talks and the student listens. In the mentoring scenario, the mentor is much more likely to do a lot of listening, and less talking. It is a two-way, reciprocal relationship. The mentor gains as much as the person being mentored. Thus, the mentor can learn as much from their protégé or mentee as the mentee learns from the mentor.

Sometimes it’s just not as obvious. Your mentee might be more technologically savvy than you, showing you how to use a new computer program or app. They may ask a less sophisticated question, which leads you to think in a different way about what we think we know, helping to direct our efforts into a different area of research not considered previously.

Mentoring Roles Must be Defined

When selecting mentors, it is vital to understand the qualities a mentor should possess. Mentors gain or earn people’s respect instead of demanding it and when checked thoroughly, mentors are said to be credible through experience, integrity, expertise, success and their presence.

When engaging a mentor for your organization or personal self, clarity is vital otherwise mentees can get confused. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. They also play different roles. You often hear a footballer, actor or business leader, for example, describe somebody they met in the past by saying, “They acted as a mentor for me.” What is the difference between, mentoring, leading, modelling, coaching, teaching, advising and counselling?

Mentors may switch between various roles but it is important to let mentees know what role the mentors would be playing. When seeking the expertise of a mentor in your organization, mentors must know what to do and what not to do, that helps in protecting the values of the organization, the mentor and also the mentees. We have seen examples of how mentees abused the privilege of having a mentor.

Bearing all these things in mind: How can you be a good mentor? How can you pass on your wisdom? How can you help people to find their answers to challenges? There are many models for running a mentoring session.  For the past 14 years, AfriGrowth Foundation have organized successful mentoring sessions for youths across Nigeria, these youths are mentored by notable Nigerians who are well vast and knowledgeable in their way of life and are ready to share their wealth of experience with the youth which we considered as the “wealth of our nation”.

Readiness and ability to share knowledge is the first trait a mentor possesses; Good mentors create a “motivating sanctuary”. They help people to build on their strengths, find solutions and achieve ongoing success. Running a mentoring series, mentors can adapt either the one to one mentoring style or one to many mentoring style.

Remember, mentoring is all about empowering people.