There are few more powerful ways to have a profound influence in another person’s life than in the role of a mentor. By providing guidance and council to others you can influence lives for the better and even make dreams come true. Mentors come in many shapes and sizes; a knowledgeable teacher, a sympathetic counselor, a coach or personal trainer who pushes their mentee to achieve more than they ever thought they could.
As good health is increasingly understood to be a combination of mental and physical factors, the role of mentors in society has grown increasingly. But mentors have always been an essential part of human civilization. Ancient Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle acted as mentors to student who attended their lyceums guiding the thought of leaders and academics who would come after them and the practice continues today with many educational institutions assigning tutors to their students.
But mentors aren’t just teachers and healers. Every form of organization and business even today still requires great mentoring skills from those who would lead them. New staff and old must constantly be motivated to keep them productive and trained in new and developing responsibility and as such for the business owner today mentorship skills are as essential as any other understanding of business and commerce.
Many people can function as mentors, such as:
- Professional Councillors
- Sports and Lifestyle Coaches
- Teachers and Educators
- Business Leaders
- Religious Leaders
Whether in business, health or another field there are many ways developing mentoring skills can allow you to help change others for the better. Here are a few.
Help people overcome mental distress. Various forms of mental illness are increasingly being given more attention. Depression, anxiety and other disorders are medically recognized more openly and are being addressed through the intervention of trained therapists. A skilled counselor or friend or family member with mentoring skills can help an afflicted individual to cope with and overcome their sickness.
Motivate people to achieve. As a mentor you will be able to support people as they work towards their goals. It can be difficult for many people to reach their potential as life often results in operating with tunnel vision with people unable to see clearly. In your position as a mentor working perhaps as a coach you can help people refocus on the big picture and see their progress in a positive light when they may struggle to see it as such otherwise.
Teach new Skills. In olden days it was common for a trade professional to take on an apprentice to teach their craft to. All trades did so from butchers, to bakers to candlestick makers. Even Knights of yore had squires to attend them.
Today the apprenticeship system is alive and well in many businesses, but even where it isn’t, there is still a need to train staff members in new procedures in order to make them functional members of a team.
Boost Productivity in Your Team, Business or College
Taking a direct interest in the well-being and lives of colleagues, whether in a sports team, company or school means being able to find ways to get the most out of them. People are complex and individualistic, and knowing when to offer assistance and advice and when not to is often key in ensuring they remain contributors to the overall goal whatever it might be.