An article in Forbes on mentoring got me thinking about the role of mentoring in developing leadership skills. In the article, author Ilya Pozin outlines a few reasons why someone should become a mentor:
- You can influence and impact others with your knowledge.
- You’ll be challenging yourself to stay on the ball in the process.
- You’ll revisit past lessons that you’ve learned throughout your career.
- You’ll be able to help your mentee focus on his or her own special talents.
- You’ll continue gaining learning opportunities for yourself in the process.
The key points that Pozin makes about the benefits of mentoring made me think about our Affirmative Leadership process. We write a lot about the benefits for those being trained in the program, but haven’t directed much attention to how those that provide the training—the star performers and the coaches—also benefit by sharing their expertise.
In our approach, the first step is to identify the star performers and discover their wisdom. Next this wisdom is transformed into a learning program consistent with the neuroscience of learning. Then the company chooses its coaches who will guide the learning group of potential Affirmative Leaders through the development program. A facilitator trains the coaches and guides them through practice coaching. Next the coaches meet with their learning group of potential Affirmative Leaders and begin teaching them.
So how do the star performers and the coaches benefit from the Affirmative Leadership process? It should come as no surprise that they reap many of the same benefits that Pozin outlines.
When star performers learn to articulate their knowledge and share it with others, they revisit past lessons in the process, which offers an opportunity to refresh their skills and “stay on the ball.”
When coaches begin teaching participants in the program, they are learning the star performers’ wisdom in the process, and are having the satisfaction of influencing and guiding others to transform their careers.
Whether teaching or learning, the process is a rewarding experience for all involved.