BENEFITS OF MENTORING AND BEING MENTORED
For this blog I reflect upon my experiences teaching, coaching and looking after students or workshop participants whom I have to bring from POINT A to POINT B in terms of their learning objectives. I also reflect upon my experiences of being mentored myself to become better at what I do.
I can see some key benefits of being in a mentor’s role:I get to share my knowledge and expertise and see it being applied in action. I used to do coaching for debate teams, choral competition, and drama/play productions; even in writing essays for competitions. I feel a purpose for why I am pouring out my heart and soul, dedicating my time to ensure that the people I support are on top of their game – this means winning, and if not ending up in first place, they get to be in the top 3 or 5. As it happens the majority of the time they end up top rank so that gave me satisfaction knowing that I have made a difference to their lives. I really empathise with them and I keep pushing them to work their hardest as I know this will pay off in the end.
Another benefit is that it helps improve the mentee’s skills as well. I usually take in beginner learners for piano lessons so I can measure improvement over time. So imagine that a kid goes to lessons with zero knowledge on how to play piano and read music properly and then a few months later that same kid will be able to participate in a recital that I am organising for them. And what about my adult learners, those who often come to the workshops with low confidence that end up leaving the event empowered simply because they have been shown specific strategies to implement to allow them to be more productive in their work.
I get to remember the knowledge that I learned as well. It is true the saying “out of sight, out of mind.” Sometimes if I do not get to practice or implement things I have learned previously I would have the tendency to forget or get rusty. This means that if I had to do something all over again, I would need to spend a little bit of time reviewing or rehearsing or simply just remembering how things are done so I can do it properly. And mind you, age also is a factor. There are simply certain things I am able to do before that I am not too inclined or able to do now.
On the flip-side, even if I have already been doing certain things for a long time, my thirst and quest for more knowledge never waivers or fades. I still like learning things up to now. I am always curious about enrolling in course that I think can help me become better at what I do. I still appreciate being mentored myself. I like the idea of another person or professional teaching me other techniques and strategies I have not done, learned or known before. I like the idea of studying and of learning. Being mentored means acknowledging that we do not stagnate as individuals, and we respect inputs and contributions from other people. Allowing ourselves to be mentored means that we are humble enough to accept the fact that we are learners and are not always necessarily the experts. It also makes us realise that there is a huge room for us to continue to grow.A mentor is a teacher, a mentor is a trusted person, who is giving us good advice and sound choices.
What a blessing it is indeed to be mentored and to be a mentor to others.