Lent Day 31 – 5 Ways to Be a Good Mentor
Do you have a mentor in your life? Are you a mentor?
This past weekend we had brunch with 5 other couples that also lead groups in our church. One of the couples mentors the group. It’s been a while since I’ve had a mentor in my life. Typically mentors for me have been for business, but after this weekend’s meet-up – the concept of mentoring had my wheels turning.
Who is a Mentor?
While you may not think you are a mentor, let me challenge you on this. Are you a teacher, a parent, a leader, a boss, a business owner? The list goes on – but the opportunity for mentorship is plenty.
During my years in corporate, I always had several mentors in my life. They had been there done that, and they were always generous in sharing their wisdom with me and providing guidance on any issues I was having. These people unknowingly helped me form who I was.
So what does it take to be a good mentor? I know there are official mentor roles – but that’s not necessarily what I am talking about here. Most of the mentors in my life have just naturally served the mentor role. It wasn’t something I was seeking out, it just happened. These people just used their knowledge to feed me wisdom.
5 Ways to Be a Good Mentor
From my personal experience, here are 5 things that I’ve found valuable from those that have mentored me.
Sometimes it’s as simple as showing up. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. Whether it be scheduled or just whenever you can connect – sometimes just showing up in someone’s life is sometimes all it takes to make a difference.
Ears or Mouth?
I have a wise friend who showed up for me one day. It was one of those times in my life that was just rough. She came in, sat down and said “do you want me to be ears or a mouth?”
Simply meaning do you want me to say what I think or do you just need someone to listen to you. This was 10 years ago, but wow – it is something that I have thought back on numerous times.
Open Ears and Open Heart
Listen with open ears and open heart. While it maybe easy to jump in and say something – just take notes. Sometimes hard words need to be said, but watch your timing. If someone is sobbing – that might not be a good time.
It can start with just how are you? Questions can also crack open some areas of deeper conversation or just simply help someone know that you are present.
Storytelling Not Reprimanding
It’s so easy to tell someone what they are doing wrong. Let’s flip the script. If you have experienced a situation that someone has gone thru – tell your story. Explain how you addressed the situation and what you went thru to get there. The art of story is a beautiful thing. It helps people know that they are not alone in having gone thru something.
Be a Mentor
Don’t worry, I am not telling you to go volunteer to be a mentor at an elementary school (but if you can and that is your heart – do it!) – but am going to say this. If you have an opportunity to be a mentor to someone, do it. The rewards are not just for those who are being mentored, you too will benefit.
Do you have a mentor or have you been a mentor? What has been the greatest value for you?
See you tomorrow on day 32 of Lent.
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