In many of my previous blogs, I have discussed topics of mentorship programs in the workplace and through organizations. These structured happenings between mentors and mentees are extremely valuable for our society. There are endless opportunities for individuals to practice mentoring in casual and unstructured settings. All around the world, there are children, teens, and young adults who are seeking guidance. Here are a few ways that you can guide others, not through a formal mentorship program.
Opportunities for advising others in constructive and helpful ways are all around us. Within our families, groups of friends, and communities someone is likely in need of some advice. Giving sound and well-rounded advice may not seem like much, but it is a crucial aspect of being a mentor.
Say you have a niece, nephew, or cousin, who acts out on occasion. You’ve seen the outbursts and their parent or guardian’s reaction usually doesn’t impact them much. Pull them aside one-on-one to do a fun activity (fun in their minds). Once engaged, have a casual talk with them about their actions. There is no need to scold. A mature conversation, that includes consequences of their actions, could be what they need. Being an outside party is also in your favor.
Advice and conversations are great starting points for a low-key mentor-mentee relationship. Another means of making an impact on a person’s life is leading by example. This style of guidance may end up leading to a formal mentorship. However, if you’re in a position of authority at work, in a religious institute, or even in your family, the way you hold yourself is always monitored. No matter what the setting, make decisions, react, and approach challenges with grace and confidence. One of the first things people pick up on about a leader is the way they face tough situations. Your style will likely be mirrored by those around you, so remaining cool, calm, and collected teaches a valuable lesson to those watching.
One of the best ways to mentor others is to give them a dose of reality. Many mentorship relationships develop between an elder mentor and younger mentee. As someone with more time on the earth and more life experience, you’ll know the hardships life can throw at us. Give them with scenarios that will hit close to home. Show them that there are others, just like them, making bad choices. This can take place in casual and non-intensive ways through easy conversations. No matter how you do it, make an impact on someone’s life if you can. You never know if your words of wisdom could help them make better decisions down the line.