The “M” Word, Part 2
Now that we’ve outlined mentoring-what it is and what it entails-it’s likely pretty clear that we’re not the only ones who benefit from a little regular “personal development.” Companies and businesses the world over are beginning to recognize the value of employing this type of personal training and development as well.
As one author wrote: “It is acknowledged by senior management in many organizations today that their company will thrive if they offer some form of mentoring to their staff. Fortunately, many more companies are giving their people an understanding of the benefits of mentoring, of which they are accepting. And many more people are training and acquiring qualifications in mentoring than ever before. It seems as though everyone, from business schools to the corner shop, is getting on the mentoring bandwagon. This is a good thing.”
Thank the Lord for the trustworthy and loving co-workers, shepherds, and friends that we have. And thank God that they don’t have to “mentor” us from their own limited life experience and wisdom, but that they have an endless resource of true wisdom, true love, and truth to tap into, whereby we can rest assured that our lives are being directed and guided along the right path. Praise the Lord!
And now for the “to be continued…” let’s focus solely on the benefits of mentoring, again taken from a variety of secular articles and books on the subject.
What Does Mentoring offer?
There are many advantages one might experience from a mentoring relationship, no matter if the focus is on life, or business. Here are just a few that you can expect:
Clarifying what you want from life. Mentoring will help you to recognize what is important in life, where energy is best focused to realize this importance, and where to begin.
Setting healthy and motivating goals. Mentoring helps you to recognize what goals and dreams you really want to achieve instead of focusing on expectations that are often instilled in you by society at large.
Accelerate business and personal growth. You will learn how to focus and work towards finalizing your goals.
Increased communication skills. You will learn how to effectively communicate your needs and desires both in a professional and personal environment.
Set priorities and follow through. You will learn to be persistent and complete a task. You will learn how to become more effective, efficient, and productive in all areas of life.
Find a healthy balance in life. You will understand the importance of having a balanced spiritual, mental, and physical lifestyle.
When you work with a mentor you will benefit in many ways.
? It will provide you with a safe place to offload emotional issues
? Further develop skills you already have
? Learn new skills
? Gain insight into yourself and the people you work with
? Get unbiased, confidential support
? Gain fresh perspectives on your issues
? Get advice, suggestions and options
Mentoring really is something that specifically benefits you, the mentee.
A mentor can provide you with a welcome point of stability during a time of change.
A mentor can provide guidance on areas you are unfamiliar with, such as attending interviews or pitching to a client.
A mentor will be an independent voice, outside your direct sphere of activity. You can bounce ideas off them without fear of comeback.
Mentoring promotes a professional relationship that fosters guidance and support during the mentee’s development.
Mentors help increase the self-confidence in a new profession as the mentee becomes familiar with their new role, increased responsibilities, etc.
They challenge mentees to go further, take risks, set new goals, and achieve at higher personal and/or professional standards.
Provides a forum to dialogue on professional issues and to seek and receive advice on how to balance new responsibilities.
Provides role modeling for professional leadership and facilitates the development of increased competencies and stronger interpersonal skills.
Reflects the mentee’s commitment to personal and professional growth.
Mentoring benefits the organization. Contributes to a positive organizational climate and promotes a more clear understanding of professional responsibilities and expectations.
May increase a newcomer’s satisfaction and retention by reducing the possible sense of isolation.
May result in improved job performance, contribute to faster learning curves, and result in better trained personnel.
Reflects an investment in personal development and may increase staff commitment and loyalty.
Promotes a positive image of the organization and reflects personnel-centered values.
The benefits of mentoring are well-documented. Organizations that fail to take advantage of this training tool are likely to have underperforming personnel. Staff need good, well-organized mentoring to help them tackle their challenges and produce results; mentoring is one of the best ways to achieve that objective. Managers who are willing to commit to mentoring can expect the following results:
¥ Improved performance
¥ More competent employees
¥ Better productivity
¥ Promotable employees
¥ Positive atmosphere
Think of “mentoring” when reading the following message about shepherding, at least as far as the principles go. Bear in mind too, however, that mentoring can also be utilized to help us progress in our work, careers, witnessing, and professional lives, not only our spiritual lives.
Dad: Shepherding is a humbling process. If you have to learn or be told something, it means that you didn’t already know it, you weren’t already right, and that’s humbling. The student has to humbly admit that he needs the help of his teacher in order to benefit from the teacher’s superior knowledge and experience. This is something that happens in every walk of life, and it’s no different when it comes to spiritual shepherding or learning.
You simply have to condition yourself to look at it in that light, that it is a learning and educational experience. You need to learn something that you don’t know, or don’t know how to do well, or need a reminder or refresher course in, and you need help. Rather than fearing that you will be “exposed” for what you don’t know, you need to look at it as you would any other type of education.
Learning to be open and desirous of shepherding [mentoring] is a challenge you want to take up so that you can be a better Christian, a better disciple, a better follower of the Lord and closer to Him. … You should be no more ashamed of being shepherded [mentored] than anyone is ashamed of going to college to learn in a certain area and to better themselves.
Jesus: One of the ways that I meet your needs for support and answers is through shepherds [mentors] that I have called and anointed. They are those who can come to your aid with that fresh perspective, coming in from outside the situation, whether it’s a problem, battle, blockage, lack of understanding, relationship, friendship, work situation, project, health matter, or matter of the heart. Whatever it is, I have the answer, and I often-in fact, usually-use others to help you along the path to victory, progress, and solutions.
Shepherds [mentors] can be a fresh and objective source of counsel. … [They] are like guides all along the way who you can call on for help in [your times of need].
So tap into this invaluable resource you have available to you through your shepherds and mentors. They might be far from flawless but the Lord has anointed them for the job and they’re there to help you succeed in what you do for Him, so take advantage of their anointing, help and counsel and become a better Christian, disciple, and professional missionary because of it.