Oftentimes when we think of personal development, we think of our own personal development. But it can be equally satisfying – and is equally important – to help guide others through the process of self improvement. The role of being a mentor for someone who is embarking on a program of self improvement is an important one!
So, you are going to be someone else’s personal development mentor! This is a challenging and exciting task, and we commend you for taking it on. We are starting, of course, with the assumption that this is something the other person has asked of you – personal development that we try to “force” on others is virtually guaranteed to end in disaster. But if you have agreed to someone’s request to help mentor them through a particular goal or challenge they are facing, you will want to spend some time thinking about your specific role in this process. It can be tempting sometimes to want to jump in and do everything for the other person. This, however, will cause no real growth on their part and you will both likely wind up frustrated with each other. So sit down with them and identify what it is that you can do to help them the most. Will you simply be a person to be accountable to? Will you offer suggestions and advice? What will your exact role in this process be?
You will also want to clarify with them who else will help to support them during this process. Creating lasting change can be difficult, and having as many people on board as possible will be very helpful. Surrounding themselves with a solid support system will likely help set them up to succeed. The old adage that there is strength in numbers is often true – keeping friends and family in the loop about what’s going on can make all the difference in terms of reaching goals.
As a mentor, you must remember that your role, your job, is to offer impartial guidance. Remember this! You will need to remain neutral and not take any progress they make – or fail to make – personally. Taking things personally can quickly lead to you acting in ways you will likely regret and that impede progress.
A big way that you can effectively mentor someone else is to freely share resources that may think are helpful to them, such as books or articles that may strengthen their efforts. If you have not already done so, start amassing a list of literary resources that you can suggest. Many people who work at bookstores and libraries know quite a bit about a lot of topics, so you can always ask them for guidance, as well.
Serving as a mentor for someone who is trying to make a major change in their life can be an incredibly powerful experience. And it is an honor to serve in this role! We wish you good luck in your endeavors.