The WIFM Concept for Mentoring – What’s in it for me, why should I be a Mentor?

One good way to check your own understanding is to try to impart it to somebody else.

Mentors may find their interest revitalised through having the fresh perspective of a Mentee. It also increases their own skills in coaching, and the more fundamental skill of communication. They gain feedback as to their own impact and contribution, which can enhance their own performance.

Mentoring is a two way process and should be important for both parties, and whilst the balance of gain is swayed more heavily towards the Mentee, there are also benefits to the Mentor, namely:

  • The satisfaction that their knowledge and wisdom is helping an individual achieve their goals
  • To give something back – making a difference
  • Self-development, honing skills such as feedback and coaching
  • Development of new insights– a welcome and sometimes surprising outcomes

Mentors need to be first-rate communicators. The people with the most knowledge are not necessarily the best people to impart that knowledge. Communication, however, is a skill that can be improved with training.

Key tips for being a successful Mentor include:

  • Ask open questions and listen carefully to responses
  • Avoid asking questions that generate just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers
  • Aim to coach Mentee so that the answer comes from within themselves
  • Be prepared to share your own experiences
  • Stand back from the issues the Mentee raises, but work together on them
  • If the relationship is failing, seek advice
  • Maintain regular contact
  • Always be honest
  • Avoid being judgemental
  • Never expect to have all the answers
  • Help the Mentee access resources and further support

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