spea magazine

Practical Wisdom

helping handMentoring How-To’s

Mentoring is a relationship of trust, friendship, and compassion. As the author Viktor Frankl reminds us, “the meaning of life is to help others find meaning in theirs.”

Mentors help others find meaning in their lives. Mentors are needed in many facets of life. Consider reaching out and mentoring a student, co-worker, family friend, neighbor, or anyone who is seeking more meaning in their lives through the guidance of a wise friend.

Keep these helpful hints in mind as you mentor someone in your life:

• Be a friend.
• Be a good listener.
• Be a coach.
• Share your expertise.
• Share your career path and experience.
• Give advice (when solicited).
• Be trustworthy.
• Lead and teach by example.
• Encourage professional dress and demeanor.
• Help your mentee learn from his/her mistakes.
• Discourage negative attitudes and behaviors.
• Encourage a winning attitude.
• Raise self-awareness in your mentee by asking reflective questions.
• Encourage your mentee to think critically and analyze situations before taking action.
• Be committed. Make time to meet your mentee at least once a month.
• Keep clear boundaries as a mentor and do not “parent” your mentee.
• Help your mentee set long-term and short-term goals to achieve his/her aspirations.
• Introduce your mentee to professional associations and/or other valuable career networks to expand their horizons.
• Take your mentee to a conference or training event to expose them to new ideas and networks.
• Be genuine and compassionate.
• Have fun!

More information on mentoring is available at www.mentoring.org. Please reach out and mentor someone today!

This issue's "Practical Wisdom" – SPEA alum Tonja L. Eagan (MPA ’94), now Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, teagan@bbbsci.org or (317) 472-3702.