Written by Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes

Since my parents passed away, I’ve considered how much I miss them. I remember how they were always there for me, correcting my mistakes, showing me care, and encouraging me. I miss them for countless reasons, but what stands out the most is the impact they made as my first mentors. Their memory is something I treasure deeply.

As a parent, I am inspired by the wisdom of my parents and often ask myself, “What would Mom or Dad do in this situation?” I believe in the power of mentorship and actively seek guidance from mentors in my journey as a parent and industry professional. Moreover, I am honored to mentor fellow authors, educators, and editors to help them achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose.

Have you ever relied on trusted relationships for guidance like I have? It’s important to find individuals who can give sincere correction, care, and support that help us validate our growth. If you have not found that kind of support, consider seeking mentorship.

The Gift of Being Mentored

Having a mentor by our side can be a great asset to help us achieve our professional goals. With their guidance, advice, support, and knowledge, we can reach new heights and unlock our full potential. A good mentor is passionate about helping us succeed and will consistently be there for us.

To find a great mentor, looking for someone who is a good listener and can give feedback with respect and understanding is essential. Additionally, they should possess a wealth of knowledge and skills in a specific field. Keep these critical indicators in mind when searching for a mentor.

Discovering the perfect mentor to guide us may seem daunting, but there are key characteristics to remember.

A great mentor:

  • Works with a Christian worldview
  • Listens attentively
  • Eager to assist in reaching our objectives
  • Treats us with respect
  • Provides truthful feedback
  • Gives candid feedback
  • Has industry expertise
  • Is authentic

As a mentee, it’s vital for us to be amicable to work alongside. People in a mentoring role often are already busy. It’s beneficial for us to use introspection and cultivate the attributes of a great mentee.

A great mentee:

  • Works with a Christian worldview
  • Honors the time and input of others
  • Is respectful and considerate
  • Is consistently and openly thankful
  • Adheres to deadlines
  • Follows through on commitments
  • Doesn’t abuse the partnership

The Gift of Mentoring 

Being a mentor is rewarding as it allows us to solidify our knowledge while sharing it with others who can benefit. As mentors, we develop a customized plan that caters to our mentees’ individual needs, talents, skills, and aspirations, guiding them toward self-improvement instead of trying to mold them into copies of ourselves.

An excellent mentor is continuously learning and willing to share that passion with mentees. Mentors need to acknowledge that, despite their expertise, they don’t have all the answers. Being open to new approaches is crucial in the editing industry. Gaining insights from experienced industry professionals can inspire and provide invaluable knowledge.

A mentor who is comfortable admitting, “I don’t know, but I’ll help you find the answer,” is someone we should strive to be like.

As mentors, we should be enthusiastic about sharing our knowledge with others and stay open to the idea that mentees may have insights or solutions we haven’t considered. Being open to different perspectives and engaging in debates can lead to personal growth and valuable insights.

When mentoring, we should be willing to learn from our mentees. They, too, deserve our admiration and attention.

Mentoring demonstrates our commitment to leadership, allows us to lead by example, and shows our mentees what effective leadership and decision-making look like in practice. As a mentor, we can provide valuable advice to mentees when they face new challenges, drawing from both successful and unsuccessful experiences to guide them. Reflecting on past experiences to provide better guidance can help reinforce leadership skills.

Building trusted relationships improves our professional network. Mentors can benefit from networking by reconnecting with old contacts and establishing new ones for unique opportunities and perspectives.

Being a mentor brings personal satisfaction as we watch the mentee progress. It also provides opportunities to explore alternative solutions and offer simple suggestions that make a significant difference.

The Bottom Line 

Mentoring can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience on both ends. It’s essential to choose a partnership that suits our needs and work toward making it fulfilling.

We can discover our true potential through mentoring and develop lifelong friendships and supporters.

Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes, EdD, is a writer/content editor. She works for Iron Stream Media as a book coach/editor. She’s a sensitivity reader for Sensitivity Between the Lines and an editor/contributor for Inkspirations. She is the board’s vice chair for the 540 Writers community. Her writing has been published in Guideposts.