The Gift Of Being A Mentor

Maureen Staiano

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As we move through our lives we gather an abundance of knowledge and experience covering a myriad of areas. As we stop and reflect upon all this knowledge we may be struck with the desire to share with others our experiences and the knowledge we have gained. We know in our hearts that what we have gained in experience in our life could be of benefit. So in possession of this knowledge and experience and with the desire to share it, where do we start?

How about becoming a mentor? Mentoring has been around for a long time and has grown and evolved over the years. A mentoring relationship is one in which one person, often older, but always with more experience guides another person’s development. Mentoring can be utilized in almost any area of life.

Most everyone has heard of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, an incredible program matching adults with under privileged children. The positive results experienced by the children participating in the program are truly impressive. This is only one area where mentoring has had proven results.

Teachers also have the opportunity to be mentors encouraging students to reach for goals they may never have dreamed possible. Teachers in particular work so closely with children for so many hours of the day they are given a wonderful chance to impact a child’s life in a favorable way. Many of us can look back fondly in remembrance of at least one teacher who had a lasting positive effect on our life.

Some school systems have implemented mentoring programs for children enlisting the help of adult volunteers. The results have been well documented including increased school attendance, educational performance, confidence and self-esteem. The adults have been given a priceless opportunity to influence a child’s life.

Business and the corporate environment have recognized the value of mentors and mentoring programs. In larger corporations a mentor will be assigned to incoming junior employees to give these newest members of the corporation the best possible start. Similar programs have been started in many schools to support the new teachers coming into the education system. Any career path you are contemplating would be benefited by enlisting the guidance of a mentor and many people already established in a certain career still work with a mentor to further themselves in their chosen field. As a coach I work with a mentor coach and find it an invaluable business and life resource.

With the increase of entrepreneurs forging ahead to start their own businesses, mentors will be in higher demand as their prior business experience and knowledge will be invaluable. The same holds true for any business owner targeting a niche market, where specific prior experience in the similar niche could influence success or failure.

As for the person contemplating what to do with their wealth of experience and knowledge; what should they expect?

Mentoring is truly the gift of yourself that you share with another human being. It is a relationship you establish with the mentor in the place of more experience and the mentee the benefactor of your experience and guidance.

Both people truly benefit from this special relationship. The mentor will gain the pleasure of sharing their knowledge. They will also discover a new excitement surrounding the area in which they are serving as a mentor. When you observe someone else benefiting from your knowledge and experience it is difficult not to feel a sense of pleasure and fulfillment. We all want to know we matter in this world, that we indeed have made a difference. Becoming a mentor is one of the great ways to have a positive impact on another human being.

If you want to get started on being a mentor, get clear on who you would like to work with and whether it would be in a business context or helping someone develop in their personal life. Do you want to work one on one or would you like to share your experience with a greater number of people?

Once you have a direction, do the research. Big Brothers Big Sisters is always looking for volunteers. Many school systems offer programs of their own. A phone call will likely give you the information you may need. The internet contains many websites regarding mentoring opportunities and how to get started. If you currently work in a large corporation, check with the Human Resource department for opportunities that may exist in your company.

If you feel that you would like to put your writing talents to good use, mentoring is a wonderful opportunity. I have many of my most influential mentors between the pages of a book.

Most importantly get started. The world is in need of your experience and the gift of yourself, don’t keep it waiting. The benefits you will enjoy will be priceless.

Maureen Staiano is a Life Coach specializing in working with women and the unique and challenging transitions we face in our lives. Please visit Maureen at:


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