be a mentor

Why You Should Be a Mentor

Have you heard someone say, The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know? I’ve heard it, and I’ve said it. It is inevitable that as you learn more about something or someone you realize how clueless you actually were up to this point. That’s what happened when I became a parent and at various stages of development for my kids. And it also happened when I married my wife. I really needed a mentor to guide me during those days. When I had mentors in business and in marriage, I learned so much. And I made way fewer mistakes. As the tables have turned and I’m playing that role, I’m still learning.

The past several years I’ve been sharing my experiences and what I’ve learned through writing, speaking, and coaching. And I learned something else. The more I teach others, the more I learn myself. It’s one of the greatest ways to learn and one of the greatest ways to grow. But I realize that I still need a mentor myself. A person who has walked the road I’m on.

So if you want real growth in your relationship, find a mentor to guide you and be a mentor to others by sharing the lessons you’ve learned. Here are three steps to help you do this.

Be coachable.

One of the greatest character traits you can have is to be humble. [Tweet This] Admitting we don’t know it all is a form of humility, and then being willing to learn from others is the action that follows. Without coaches and mentors in my life, I’d still be struggling in some areas and making some of the same mistakes over and again. Shoot, I still make some of the same mistakes. However, when I admit to myself and even to others that I don’t know then I’ve given myself a great opportunity to learn and grow. And change happens next. Change in my marriage, change in my parenting, change at work, and change in my ministry. Overall, change happens in my life.

Start where you are and use what you have.

There were times where I wasn’t sure how to find a mentor or what makes a good mentor. And, of course, there were times where I felt there is no way I can help anybody as I don’t know what I’m doing myself. I’m certain you can relate to that because you are parents.

Finding a mentor doesn’t have to be this great and complex process. Who do you know personally that you’ve learned something from, that has experienced something you have yet to, and is where you would like to be in a particular aspect of your life?

The same goes for being a mentor. What have you learned from your experiences? There are plenty of people both youth and adults who can benefit from your experience. The first that come to mind are your very own kids. We must start with our kids, but don’t end there as our mentorship is needed for others.

Find one, be one, and walk with one.

The first and probably the most important was a life mentor who could pour into you. Someone who has been there and done that and can help guide you. The second is a peer or peer group. People who are at or near the same state of life, development, and experience as you. These are the people who walk side by side with you. And third is a mentee, or someone younger or less experienced, that you can pour your knowledge, lessons, and experiences into. That completes a circle of learning for you and allows you to get the most out of what you learn and what you experience.

Sound Off

How has a mentor or coach impacted your life?

Jackie Bledsoe

Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger, and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three, who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.

  • Brian P. Hall

    Here is a great organization that focuses on mentoring men. It has a lot of the framework needed to get started and if you need mentoring, it can help you get in touch with a mentor. http://www.radicalmentoring.com

  • Lars Londot

    I just had a student teacher in my classroom and it was great to be able to mentor him. I helped in more ways than just teaching. It was a great experience because it rejuvenated my career. It was also a way to pay it back to those who helped me along the away. Especially my old athletic director who was a mentor and father figure.

  • Paul_Sp

    I have no idea how to realistically find or be either one of these. To actually get a mentor/mentee relationship going, that is.

    • BJ_Foster

      I would start by praying for those people. Then I would look for someone I admire and perhaps ask them to go to lunch. I would be open and just tell him that I admire him and his approach to life and was looking for some advice. Regular lunches or breakfasts may follow. Getting involved with different groups at your church may help facilitate some of those relationships.

      • Paul_Sp

        I don’t have or really know any men in my area that qualify as such.
        Only women, in that all of my closest friends are women.
        Hate going to church alone so I seldom go, plus I work a lot, including most weekends. Can pray for the Lord to send someone if He chooses though.

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