Being Mentored: What’s in it for you?

To all mentors out there, thank you very much for your work; you

guys are doing a great job!

I realize, as I write this article, that many times society fails to thank or appreciate or recognize what ‘everyday’ people are doing to make other’s liv

es more meaningful and productive

. A lot of negative stuff happens around us on a daily basis and we seem not to notice that good stuff is just as widespread, if we care to look a little closer. Even when we get to compliment someone it mostly turns out to be a high-profile person or someone in an influential position. Yet, it is the ordinary people we meet in the streets, at work or in the lift who make the most impact in our lives. The father w

ho protects his family from danger, the mother who cleans a child’s wound, the teacher who ensures the students meet the pass mark, the gardener who tends to the flowers that bring joy on Valentine’s Day, the kiosk-owner who makes milk and bread available just across the street, the watchman who maintains security at the gateā€¦the list is endless. How often do we thank them? Well, that’s why I thought it a good idea to thank the people who play the role of mentors in our lives.

Now that that’s done let’s turn our attention to the

mentored. If you are being mentored or seeking a mentor you might want to consider what benefits can be derived from such an arrangement. After all, you are committing your time and energy to the process so it should yield something worthwhile.

Mentoring affords you an exclusive learning experience that in some cases you do not even have to pay for. Take for example, a weekly meeting with your supervisor at work to tackle any problems you may have encountered and find solutions to implement together. It’s exclusive because it is not open to everyone out there and you get individual attention. The learning environment created by mentorship is one in which you are allowed to make mistakes and be corrected gently; a non-threatening approach.

Being mentored in a group setting opens the door for new partnerships and networking opportunities. For instance, when you attend professional forums or training seminars you meet new people who have the same passion as you do. This gives you the opportunity to exchange ideas, information, experiences and even potential business contacts.

Improved self-confidence is another benefit of being mentored. Knowing that somebody believes in you, supports you and is willing to go the extra mile in ensuring your success in life goes a long way in building your sense of self-worth and confidence.

Your social skills are also likely to get a boost from the mentoring process as you interact more closely with your mentor or with people in a forum. The mentoring relationship provides an opportunity for constant communication in the form of feedback, questions and answers. In some cases there are activities involved, like team building or working on a project together, all of which have an impact on how you relate with others.

These are just a few of the potential benefits and are by no means exhaustive. Perhaps you have experienced something more or something different than these; feel free to share your own experience.

If you would like to write it as an article, just send it to me ( with the subject Benefits of being Mentored and I will publish it as a guest post.


What is the expectation on a mentee in a mentoring process?

You may be asking yourself, if I agree to be mentored by someone else, what is expected of me?


First of all, you need to keep in mind the reason for which you are being mentored. Mentoring takes place for various reasons and in different contexts, factors which will affect the type of relationship and the expectations on you as the mentee. For instance, if it is a work-based mentoring process you may be required to report regularly to your mentor, progress on something that you have been given to work on. However, there are general expectations regardless of the type of mentoring relationship. Here are three important ones:


Be teachable:
The mentoring process will be much easier if there is willingness to learn, on the part of the mentee. In other words, put on humility. Allow yourself to be corrected and trained. Let it be a learning experience and you will be happier. Actually, both mentee and mentor will be happier!


Be available:
When a mentoring process begins, certain parameters are usually agreed upon that will govern the relationship so that it benefits the mentee. One of these parameters is time, i.e. how much time both parties are willing to invest in the relationship. Once this is agreed on, ensure that you maintain your end of the bargain. Avoid coming up with many excuses about why you could not turn up for a meeting or training session otherwise you come across as disinterested. Even if certain unexpected issues arise (and sometimes they do) always look for a way out or at the least, inform your mentor if it will affect the time you had planned so that rescheduling can be considered.


Be active:
Apply what you have learnt so that both of you can be able to see and evaluate the results of the mentoring process. Remember that information alone does not necessarily lead to wisdom; it is in the application of that information that wisdom comes forth.

Being active also means asking questions where you do not understand as well as taking the initiative to explore new ideas, methods and ways of doing things. All these will add value to the mentoring process.