I believe that everyone deserves and even needs a mentor. This is especially true when we start something new in life as I did when I retired.
There are many life roles that have the opportunity to mentor including parents, managers or friends. These roles are broader than mentoring but hopefully regularly includes it.
Mentors have characteristics and skills such as active listening, offering hope and encouragement and providing affirmation on self-worth and accomplishments. Mentors build people up and pull them toward their own dreams rather than push them. Relationships are not based on expectations, instead mentors seek to understand and support the mentee’s life purpose and goals.
Some mentoring relationships are formal, e.g. mentoring someone in their career or supporting a teen such as at Mentoring Plus. The informal relationships occur spontaneously with people in our lives with a simple shift in attitude where we remove expectations and demands and put the other person first, in their context.
Most mentoring relations are unstructured, e.g. we ask about and support the other person’s priorities and needs. Some relationships are structured as we shift to a life coach role or adviser, e.g. help with a budget or job resume.
Mentoring relationships are easily two-way; the mentor and mentee both grow. If done well, it will feel rewarding for both parties. I am thankful for the people who continue to provide me 1:1 guidance. Do you have a mentor in your life? Do you want one?