How I Found The "Mentor" In Mentoring

How I Found The "Mentor" In Mentoring

My journey of becoming a mentor.


As an appropriate next level of my career trajectory of becoming an appointed Press Officer, I have been seeking mentorship from a unique set of Foreign Service professionals, and leaders in the Press and Think Tank industries. These relationships I have been seeking were to not only be around someone who was sharper in my field, but to develop a bond with someone with the common interest of the fields and places that I see my best fit.

On my own journey of finding the perfect mentor, I have been ignored, neglected, and dodged by whom I perceived would be the best folks in their respective feels. This left me feeling like I had to figure it all out on my own with no support or assistance from those who have opened doors, walked paths, and paved a way for brothers like myself to make an impact in the world and blaze new trails.

Beautiful Irony

Although I found a hard time pinning down a great mentor, I was asked to become a mentor for the incoming freshmen class this summer at Morehouse College. Last week, I completed my first week of training with a cohort of Residential Mentors and Teaching Assistants for the PreFreshmen Summer Enrichment Program (PSEP) for the incoming class of 2020. Over the past week, I have developed a bond with over seventy participants giving special attention to ten exceptional young men who have been charged to develop in their intended majors of Business Administration under my mentorship.

A Whole New World

When faced with the opportunity to step outside of my familiar role as a colleague for this group of incoming college students, I found that, most simply put, mentorship is not easy. It requires a level of patience, understanding, trust and boundaries to foster the bond that is ultimately beneficial to both parties. In my work, I have learned that there are several ways to develop these bonds, and my goal is to share them with those who have ultimately avoided mentorship because of the very fact that they may not know how.

Create a Connection

The first week of my mentoring life-cycle has been creating a connection with my incoming mentees to build rapport and foster an on-going relationship within their time with me as a mentor. This period was comprised of meeting each of my mentees for the first time. Within this period, I took time getting familiar with their names, their personalities, and even how they look and dress.

Creating this type of connection with them has been a pertinent factor in getting to know each of them at the individual level. In this period we explored our mutual interests and used that intersection as a foundation to continue building our relationship.

Establishing A Bond

This was also a very vital period to develop and solidify my trust with each of the mentees. In this case, trust to me came in the form of transparency, consistency, and authenticity. I built a framework for an open-minded relationship with each of them, with an understanding of how fragile trust can be, especially at this point.
With consistency, I have set the tone and provided clear expectations for my group to uphold, and hold each other accountable for. Remaining authentic, I refrained from immediately hiding or pulling back certain faults or flaws from my group, because it is appropriate to set the appropriate expectations, and with that, set the expectation of imperfection.

Create a Charge for Improvement

The most powerful type of mentoring relationship is one in which a mentor is able to use their strengths to supplement the weaknesses of their mentee. This part of the mentoring session required me to undertake a huge emphasis on discovering my own personal strengths and identifying opportunities to use those strengths to uplift and build on those of my mentees.

Upon my training, I completed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to get an idea of the unique sets of strengths that I possess that could serve as an asset to my mentees. Taking pride in my results, I found a number of ways to implement my thematic strengths to enhance the mentoring relationship that would ultimately benefit the mentees the most.

Making It Last

Another way that to create a charge for improvement with a mentee is exploring each of their interests, goals, and ambitions. This is perhaps one of my best parts of a mentoring relationship because this is also when you are able to provide resources to achieve each of their visions or at least get to a point of execution.

The biggest challenge I have met in my mentoring relationship thus far would be fighting the urge to impose goals onto my mentees, as I want to allow them to find themselves for themselves. Although the journey of taking on mentorship is a new experience for me, I maintain a very high level of enthusiasm that I expect to carry through our relationships moving forward. Week one is done, but the program has only begun! Stay tuned for more updates throughout the program and follow me to stay up to date on what's in store.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month, A Reminder We Need Even More In Quarantine

You're going through something brand new — that's worth talking about.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This isn't new to 2020, but oh man, if we ever needed a reminder about the importance of mental health, now is the time. With different states all over the place in regard to stay-at-home orders, phased reopenings, and a "new normal," we're experiencing conflict, fear, changes, and unknowns that can easily trigger mental struggles we already have or spark feelings we've never had before. Yes, May is always Mental Health Awareness Month, but in quarantine, that need for positive mental health is taken to a whole new level.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone is LOVING "Outer Banks," as you've probably heard. And if you haven't caught the hype for the show yet, these articles will definitely give you a taste of what you're missing.

If you already have seen and fallen in love with the teen heartthrob crew, you need to get on board with some of these theories for season two!

Keep Reading... Show less

These 11 Face Masks On Etsy Support Small Businesses While Fighting The Spread Of Coronavirus

We're staying safe as states start lifting lockdown guidelines.

I, like most people who have had the luxury of being able to stay at home during this time, haven't spent much time outdoors at all. But when I do brave the great outdoors for a walk or to get to the grocery store, you won't find me without a mask.

My family and I were lucky enough to have family friends who were sewing some and had extras to give to us, but most of my friends and loved ones outside my immediate family have had to order some (or make a makeshift one out of scarves or bandanas).

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Reasons We're Using Quarantine As The Ultimate Excuse For Online Shopping This Month

The one thing we haven't distanced from is our bank account.

Throughout quarantine, I've been FaceTiming most of my friends in a full turtleneck or the go-to cozy sweater I keep wrapped around the chair in my room. Either way, I always have tea in my hands to keep myself warm — till this past week.

For most of the country who hasn't had the luck of quarantining in 90-degree weather on their family's lake house or with a backyard pool, things began to change this month. Our favorite shows came out with summer seasons, the sun came out, and we started spending more time outside.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Morgan Wooten To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

Morgan Wooten

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you are a normal person who spends most of their time streaming TV shows, you'll know that "Friends" was taken off Netflix early in 2020. Given that a global pandemic followed shortly after, many diehard fans of the show stuck in quarantine have been experiencing significant Central Perk withdrawal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments