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Mentorship – Part 1 (Being a Mentor)

MentorshipI've been thinking more about the idea of mentorship recently. I've been pondering about its pros and cons, the type of things I would look for in a mentor, and the type of things I would try to instill into someone (my mentee) if I were a mentor.

The idea of mentorship is generally thought of being a positive one. From the viewpoint of the mentor, I think you have the opportunity to make a meaningful and, hopefully, a positive impact on the life of your mentee. From the viewpoint of the mentee, I think you have the opportunity to gain experienced insight from someone with more experience who can guide you towards what you want to achieve.

This is not an article on the details of mentorship, of course, but I do want to write down some thoughts as they pertain to someone in my position (and I imagine these thoughts may pertain to you as well).

Being a Mentor

First, let me say that I haven't been a mentor before... at least not officially? Well, do such formalities even exists for mentorship? In martial arts, you can imagine that the student makes a pledge and vow towards their teacher. There is some sense of informal mentoring in that capacity whenever you are in a teaching position. In either case, I want to reflect on this concept of being a mentor in order to better prepare myself in becoming a mentor in the future. Please excuse my ignorance on the matter.

1) Building trust

Trust is probably the single most important aspect that I see in mentorship. Having a solid trust relationship between the mentor and the mentee to both understand each other better and to accept wholeheartedly, the information that is exchanged between them. Without fundamental trust, the relationship can turn into unproductive or even destructive.

2) Teaching principles first, specifics second

I think it is important to instill the principle into the mentee first. These principles are what guide the mentee into being better prepared to making their own decisions as it relates to them in their lives later. Specifics can serve the purpose of examples or put things into context in helping to teach the principle or provide guidance in a particular area.

3) Plan for the future

I think as the more experienced mentor, you should have foresight into putting the mentee's future into consideration when providing advice. Ultimately, the mentor should be trying to do what helps the mentee make improvements in their life as a whole. Therefore, it should be emphasized that the mentor thinks about the mentee's future when providing advice.


That's it for now. I will return to this topic later as I gather my thoughts.

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