How can I persuade my team to act as mentors?

How can becoming a mentor improve my own skills and bring personal satisfaction?

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Mentors help their protégés develop their careers, and they help their organizations develop new leaders.  But mentors themselves benefit as well.  Persuade your team members to act as mentors by touting these rewards:

1. Coaching skills.  Mentors learn how to bring out the best in their protégés by identifying strengths and encouraging their use.  Over time, they may work with protégés from a variety of backgrounds and with different personalities.  All of this can be valuable leadership experience.

2. Performance improvement.  As a mentor, you act as a role model to your protégés.  Mentors who take their job seriously will take a strong look at their own performance to be sure it matches the expectations they're setting for their protégés.  They also may shift their perspectives on their organizations and industries as protégés ask questions about why things are done a certain way.

3. Employee retention.  Mentors can gain credit for keeping turnover low and helping the organization spot talent from within.  And when employees stick around, managers don't have to spend valuable time hiring and training new employees.

4. Personal satisfaction.  Most mentors enjoy the feeling of passing along their knowledge and experience to a new generation of workers and future leaders. Protégés remember their mentors long after the formal relationship may be over, creating a personal legacy the mentor can cherish.

Jules Ciotta is president of Motivation Communications Associates. He can be reached at (770) 457-4100 or julesciotta@comcast.net.

Ciotta, mentors

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