The Inner Mentor: As a mentor, you get the opportunity to play an active role in the interaction with your mentee
March 1st, 2021
”After a long career most of the years as a leader, I feel an obligation to share my experiences – both the ups and the downs I have experienced throughout my professional life. It is the biggest gift you can pass on to someone,” said Board Chairwoman Else Beth Trautner when we asked her why she choose to become a mentor.
Else Beth Trautner started her journey as a mentor in 2014 when she received professional mentor training through KMP+ House of Mentoring and became part of the Executive Business+Mentor network. She had a desire to help and give back to others. Before she became a mentor, Else Beth had taken an education as a coach, but as a coach, she missed having an active role in the interaction. According to Else Beth, your role as a coach is more passive, because your primary job is to ask questions. But as a mentor, you can use many different roles and therefore the interaction between a mentor and a mentee automatically gets more dynamic and creates mutual reflection and learning. The professional mentoring training has provided Else Beth with some solid tools that she uses both in her role as mentor and as a leader.
Before Else Beth became a mentor, she had a wish to use her own professional experience in other industries. A wish that could be fulfilled in the position as a mentor, where she gets the opportunity to mentor others across different industries.
”During my years as a mentor, I have met many highly motivated people, and it has been very rewarding and inspiring to be part of mentoring relationships across different industries”, said Else Beth Trautner.
A big part of the reward, as a mentor, is seeing your mentees succeed and achieve their set of goals. According to Else Beth, a big part of the success of a mentor/mentee relationship can be attributed to the matching of mentor and mentee. To achieve a successful match between mentor and mentee, it is important that the mentor can contribute to the relationship in a way that helps mentees achieve their desired goals.
”The matching of my mentees and me has been a perfect fit. I have been able to give my mentees the things they needed, I have been an active support in their learning process, and they have reached their goals”, said Else Beth Trautner.
A good match between mentor and mentee is therefore essential to achieve success in a mentoring relationship. This is also one of the reasons why Else Beth recommends all mentors to be honest to themselves. If the match between you and your mentee does not work and you as a mentor cannot contribute with anything relevant, it is better to end the process and find a new mentor for the mentee. You need the courage to acknowledge that you cannot help the mentee. Else Beth also points out the importance of “…only entering into a mentor/mentee relationship if you want to prioritise time and are genuinely committed to the process. Mentee’s expectations and reliance must be met. On the other hand, you will as a mentor get a lot in return.”
A wide network of competencies
According to Else Beth, the motivation to be a mentor goes further than the mentor/mentee dynamic. One of the most rewarding things about being a mentor is being able to be part of a network with other mentors. In the network, there is both room for discussion and reflection on management and other relevant topics. All the mentors in the network come from different industries and they all have their own kind of experience. You therefore get a network of mentors with a wide range of competencies and experiences where you can all help and inspire each other in relation to mentoring and in other parts of your professional life.
Having someone to share your work experience with at the beginning of one’s leadership career was something Else Beth missed herself when she started her own business career. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to join a formal complex forum with a highly professional level and a solid theoretical foundation, she could not miss that opportunity.