The Inner Mentor: The joy in giving back to others'
By: Pia Prip Hansen, 29. april, 2020
Jesper Falk is a State Authorised Public Accountant and Partner in the Danish accounting firm ”Piaster Revisorerne” and has been a part of the accounting profession for more than 35 years. According to Jesper Falk it was the joy of helping and developing young people in their quest to become a State Authorised Public Accountant that first aroused his interest in mentoring and then led to a professional education as Executive Business Mentor by KMP+ House of Mentoring.
”Becoming State Authorised Public Accountant is one of the longest and formal education programmes in Denmark and can be described as a form of manhood test. These people need support, be it on a professional as well as on a personal level,” states Jesper Falk.
Jesper Falk experienced great personal joy in seeing other people succeed with their ambitions in the accounting profession, which led him to consider whether he could act in such a role outside of the industry. According to Jesper Falk, his motivation for being a mentor is due to greater personal satisfaction in giving than receiving.
”The purpose has thus been two-sided; of course, the mentees should benefit from the relationship just like I could obtain a satisfaction by helping them,” says Jesper Falk.
According to Jesper Falk his education as an Executive Business Mentor has provided him with several tools that he can use in working with his mentees. One thing that is important is to be well prepared. In addition to that, it is essential that you have empathy for mentee’s situation and opportunities – and thus be able to help the mentee move. One way that Jesper Falk helps the mentee is by giving the mentee insight into what he experiences as their biggest personal challenges and then providing inspiration for how they can develop.
The importance of working structured and being well prepared
Jesper Falk works on a daily basis following a systematic approach, which he believes has also set the framework for the mentoring process and his own learning. One of the things he finds particularly exciting, about the mentor role, is how he become aware of sympathetic insight of other people’s challenges. The mentor role has also made him aware of the importance of dealing with difficult situations in a productive and understanding way. ”In other words, I have experienced moving a lot”, says Jesper Falk.
According to Jesper Falk, it is important to create a common flow in the process, which can be done by using some simple tools and methods. First, it is important the mentor is well prepared for the mentee meetings. Therefore, Jesper Falk always ensures to lay a structure at the first meeting that will apply for the rest of the process and future meetings. But according to Jesper Falk, preparation before each meeting is a crucial part of the process – and this applies to both mentor and mentee. In addition, he mentions ”homework” for both parties to know what to work on for the next meeting.
Jesper Falk has had several different mentor/mentee relationships, and it is the versatility of the different challenges in which the mentee experiences and want help with, that makes each relationship so special. During his first mentorship it was personal challenges that the mentee wanted help handling, and in his second mentorship it was more of a business and professional challenge.
Advice for new mentors
According to Jesper Falk, as a mentor it is important to do your best to put oneself in the mentees place. Likewise, it is incredibly important to note if the chemistry is there, if the mentor/mentee collaboration fails, and if confidentiality and mutual respect do not emerge, then you will not get far, and both parties will not gain any learning and development from the process.
”I have personally put time and effort into mapping out what challenges and situations the mentee is facing to become aware of what I as a mentor in this constellation can offer. It has been an important exercise for me, where I also become more aware of my own potential outcome. I would clearly recommend that other mentors do too”, says Jesper Falk.