Why Being a Good Mentor Matters and How to Become a Good Mentor

640 480 Ellen Ensher
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mentoringI have been doing a lot of mentoring for women who get breast cancer. Most of these women are referred to me through friends of friends. But recently, it hit closer to home as a good friend was just diagnosed. She is going to be cured but I know she has a long icky year ahead. So, I have been thinking a lot about what it really means to be a good mentor.

Perhaps not coincidentally, I released my first online class on how to be a good mentor through Lynda.com on October 26, 2017… which happens to be two years to the date that I was diagnosed. I did not control the date of diagnosis or the release date of the video and yet both became markers for me as the first represents a personal before-after and the second represents a professional come-back for me. The truth is before I got my cancer diagnosis I was a little burned out talking about mentoring. And then it all changed. Once I got diagnosed, my skill of knowing how to assemble a team of mentors was absolutely instrumental in my recovery. I am completely reinvigorated in my work on mentoring because I have learned the hard way mentoring can help you not just professionally but also personally. Also, giving back as a mentor now gives meaning to my own experience. If I can make someone else’s journey a little easier then I feel of use. For all of us, life will keep handing us opportunities and challenges and we have to keep taking on new roles, and learn to acquire new skills and abilities. I know for sure that mentors help not just professionally, but also personally.

I put my heart into this Lynda video and I really think it has some good content. But now that I am mentoring a friend, I wish I had included something like how can we be helpful as a mentor when so emotionally invested? It is like I just want to save her pain and I find myself biting my tongue and trying to not inundate her with information and resources. So, I hope you watch the video, share the video and learn from it. As for me, I like to think I know a lot about being a good mentor AND I am still learning to be even better. Being a good mentor is worth it. It brings meaning and joy.

Here is a summary of the class:

Becoming a mentor gives you a way to share your wisdom and knowledge with someone less experienced. People who mentor also benefit; studies have shown that they often earn more money and promotions than non-mentors. But there are some important guidelines to consider before you start this mutually beneficial relationship. In this course, I explain how to get to know your protégé, share the do’s and don’ts for appropriate self-disclosure, and help you develop a structure and agenda for each meeting.

I also offer guidance on building trust and chemistry, providing feedback, and helping your protégé make critical career and work decisions and becoming resilient in the face of challenges. I also help you address common obstacles, including a protégé that fails to meet expectations or violates trust, and I explain how to make time for mentoring.

You can access the welcome video here and if you want to take the whole class then you can sign up for a free trial subscription OR see if you company already has a subscription. Lynda is the biggest purveyor of online education with several million subscribers so it is likely you already have access.

Click here for more information on my Lynda class.