Mentoring brings many advantages for both mentor and mentee, from understanding the area of work to the actual career growth. But have you thought about mentoring as a tool to strengthen mental health? Although it's not explicitly listed as one of the mentoring outcomes, both mentee and mentor improve their mental health while participating in the mentoring relationship. Read on to learn how it works.
Improved mental health of mentees
By being in the mentoring relationship, mentees gain a lot. They get to understand the area they want to develop into, set SMART goals, and get advice on succeeding in a career they dream of. However, mentoring is not only about setting goals and working hard to make them possible. It's also about the actual relationship between mentor and mentee, mutual support, and trust.
Throughout the mentoring program, mentees can gain many skills that will positively impact their mental health. They can reduce anxiety levels by understanding that they're already good enough and know a lot. They can strengthen their self-confidence by acknowledging all the hard work they've done to this day. And they can become calmer, taking their personal development and career growth into their hands.
As one of the Femme Palette mentees, Kristina, shared, "For me, taking part in the mentoring program meant that I made a decision to fulfill my dreams with the mentor who supported me, was a role model for me, and showed that everything was possible. As I was progressing through the program, I felt more relaxed and, as I went on the road to my dreams, also more confident. I was organized before, but I didn't know what to reply when someone asked me what I wanted from work or life. Now I decide calmly and confidently because I know my values, what I want, and why I want it. I'm thankful for this experience."
Mentors help themselves by helping mentees
In the mentoring relationship, it's not only mentees who benefit from the cooperation – but it's also mentors. As mentors support mentees on the way to their dream job or project, they also positively affect their own mental health. As part of the relationship, mentors feel empowered, better demonstrate empathy and respect, and share hope and optimism.
Diana Bonczar, Co-founder at Inko Club and Femme Palette mentor, explained, "One way of helping yourself is to help others. Working with someone on their goals gives a different meaning to your efforts than if you'd be focusing on yourself. And seeing your mentee improve can be a powerful source of satisfaction for you. What's also important is that when you feel someone needs you, you subconsciously work on being stronger yourself so that you're ready to offer them the right support and you become more resilient."
Taking the positive impact on the mentor itself, Diana added, "As a mentor, you share your knowledge and experience, and at the same time, you get experiences and questions from mentees. And those ideas make you think. You learn about other perspectives, how the other person might react, what they might feel, what motivates them, and what they consider a challenge. All of this teaches you to be more empathetic and open to finding solutions that work for others, not just for you. You also get inspired to try out ideas you haven't thought of before and that came up during the discussion."
"Thanks to mentoring, I became more self-aware and resilient. When I help my mentees overcome their obstacles and tackle challenges, I look for inspiration and examples in my own life. Every time I do it, it brings back memories and puts them in front of the current me. I always give those memories a thought to see what I would do today and observe how I've changed over time, how I matured and developed. Thanks to this, I feel much stronger now. I gained confidence that there's a light at the end of every tunnel."
Would you like to experience mentoring yourself and see how you can positively impact your mental health? Check out the Femme Palette Mentoring Program that will match you with a mentor based on your selected area and goals set.