Teacher? Boss? Coach? Mentor!

Do you see yourself as a mentor? Deneen Troupe-Buitrago helps us embrace what we might offer others - while growing ourselves in the process.


Teacher? Boss? Coach? Mentor!

By Deneen Troupe-Buitrago

My first mentor was a woman I worked for in high school. I was a mother's helper for her eight-month-old son. I don't know if she realized that she was a mentor to me. As a professional woman, she was everything I dreamed of being. I remember conversations about food, books, and work. It was the first time I asked questions and gleaned information from someone I respected.

Have you ever had a mentor? Maybe it was a teacher who made you feel special, your first boss out of high school or college, or maybe the coach you hired that became your mentor.

A mentor is a wise and trusted advisor, not simply a teacher, or boss, or coach. They are so much more. A mentor affects your personal and/or professional life by fostering insight, identifying needed knowledge, and expanding growth opportunities. Let's face it, to be successful in any field, aspiring leaders require role models and guidance.

Another mentor in my life was my supervising teacher for my student teaching experience. Her classroom was the model for my own classrooms. Her teaching style influenced me greatly. This relationship was a bit more formal as we had meetings and conversations about my progress as an aspiring teacher. She gave me great insights into who I was and what I could accomplish in my chosen profession.

These more formal relationships can be short or long term. It is important is to have clearly defined goals, to be dedicated to the time it will take, and to know when to end the mentor relationship and just be friends/colleagues.

My latest mentor is my branding coach. Our relationship began with me "investing" in my business by hiring her. From there we developed a deep friendship and I've received much more than her blueprint for success. Together we have cried, laughed, struggled, and celebrated different events in our lives. The most exciting part is that we are now collaborating to create something quite wonderful.

Does the thought of mentoring another scare you? You have skills that another person needs. Think about you how God has equipped you. What knowledge can you pass on? Being a mentor is more important than ever AND you will get more out of the relationship than you think. Mentoring will benefit YOU as you invest in another:

  • Mentoring enhances your OWN skills by strengthening your coaching and leadership skills. It also improves your performance as you are a role-model.

  • Mentoring creates a legacy of lasting impact as you pass on the mission of your organization or your personal values.

  • Finally, mentoring offers the intrinsic reward of helping another.

Warning: Mentoring is relational, so it could get messy. Be ready for the messiness and don't let it turn you off. This relationship should be mutually beneficial because your mentee receives hands-on education and support AND you as the mentor can find the gaps in your knowledge and regain focus. Remember, if the relationship is working, learning will happen on both sides.

Okay, now what? Look at your skill-set and decide what you have to offer in any area of life (family, business, organization, health, spiritual life, creativity); then make yourself available to someone in your sphere of influence to mentor.

Deneen Troupe-Buitrago, M.Ed., is an Author, Speaker, & Clarity Specialist relieving the guilt from Faith-based Businesswomen by teaching them to connect Faith & Business and serve God more through their work. She leads women through Professional, Personal, and Spiritual hands-on growth experiences by providing workshops, retreats, and coaching. She has created the Calling Clarity Course to help women succeed at, and CLARIFY, how to live out God's calling. Get acquainted with Deneen at www.deneentb.com.

© Elisa Morgan 2020

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