According to Colorado, “research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have positive positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations.”
For those who act as mentors, provides a sense of purpose in life and connection to community and boosts your happiness, self-esteem, , and sense of well-being. For those who are looking for a mentor, you can find support for connection, understanding, reaching goals, and much more. There is much to be benefitted by being in a mentorship.
Connecting with people in your community, friend circles, workplaces, and partnerships is a way to build self-esteem. Often, the types of relationships you seek are reflective of what you think you deserve. It isn’t always easy to look at patterns and why you continue them, but mentoring relationships are a tool that can help you navigate your own self-worth. Whether you are the , , or both; the payoff is worth the effort.
Some benefits of engaging in a relationship include:
- Exposure to fresh ideas and perspectives. New perspectives can be gained whether you are a , or both! This can also lead to increased creativity and productivity.
- Opportunity to reflect on your own goals and practices. Whether you are a or , reflection on what’s important to you will naturally occur and the relationship you’ve developed can help you with accountability and encouragement to shift your goals, re-assess what’s important to you, or get back on track.
- Increased self-esteem. When we are able to share our value and experience with others, we naturally, feel higher esteem. When you accept the support of others, like a , and know you don’t have to figure things out on our own, your feeling of being able to do things increases and with that, your self-esteem also increases.
- Improved . When we help or support others or feel helped and supported ourselves, our mood, energy and overall sense of well-being increase.
- Gratitude. The experience of feeling and receiving support from a or the support you are able to give a builds and sustains feelings of gratitude.
- Connection. Connection to others and something greater than yourself can help to reduce . As humans, we function best when we have healthy, supportive relationships., , loneliness, and other
For and young adults, having a healthy relationship with a , is research-based to help reduce and risk-taking behaviors, like . For adults and people of all ages, having a supportive mentor relationship can support growth in recovery, career goals, spirituality, healthy relationships, identity and more.
What are the types of mentorships?
Not all mentoring relationships look the same, but all of them are equally beneficial, depending on what matches your needs most. Though it is not an exhaustive list, four examples include:
Traditional: This type of Colorado (for connections) and Energize Colorado (for business support) or organization as well as an informal process with two people. Sometimes, this can develop when you bravely approach someone in your workplace or community who you admire. happens when there is one and one . It doesn’t mean that only the teaches the . Often, the learns as much if not more from the . It can be a formal placement through a company like
Distance: You don’t have to be in the same state or country for a to work. With the help of FaceTime, Zoom, etc., you can forge and maintain friendships around the world. Consistency is key with these types of mentorships and can include meeting at the same time each week, centering your work around the same book, or identifying if you have similar . Many of us are familiar with the tools that help us connect internationally, but if you aren’t, you can build your skills with internet research or asking people you know well so that you can navigate technology safely.
Group: This is an opportunity where a single is matched with a cohort of mentees. It is popular in work and school spheres so that mentees feel like they have connection beyond themselves. A in a workplace has skills that are likely valued, so it is helpful to get feedback from them as well as form relationships with other mentees for support.
: This type of is between people with similar ages and interests as you. If you want to help people through organizations like Habit for Humanity and Sources of Strength, there will likely be people your age-level who want the same . With -to- , you are both interested in the same type of leadership, and this is where informal mentorships are likely to form. -to-
How do mentorships work?
Normally, successful mentorships go through four phases including preparation, negotiating, encouraging growth, and closure. The finish is as important as the start in so that both parties can practice clean closure.
Think about what you are seeking in a mentorship and your needs from the beginning. Every mentor-mentee relationship is different and if you enter a mentorship through a mentor program, information on how mentorships work for that organization can be found with them directly.
Other things to consider when seeking a mentorship in a less-formal manner is being clear with what your needs are and what you’d like to gain from the relationship. It is also important to be clear with what you can give to the relationship. Healthy boundaries are important in all relationships and that includes mentor relationships as well.
What if I am a teen and want to?
It’s not too early to start Colorado Young Leaders (among many others). The non-profit encourages -to- and gives the opportunity to develop leadership skills.. You can learn from your peers and they can learn from you. Having increases a your connection to others, and can help you feel not so alone. When you are able to provide support to another , you not only provide hope and connection to that , you also experience an increase in feel-good emotions yourself. You can learn from each other and grow in your relationships because of what you learn through the mentoring process. Colorado high school can check out one of the many awesome mentor programs in our state, One option for those local to the Denver Metro is
How can I connect through a , , or both?as
There are ample opportunities for Big Brother, Big Sister is a well-known local and national organization that models successful relationships through mentoring. They have a rigorous application process so that you can feel comfortable and safe. Other organizations local to Colorado are Coloradoand Energize Colorado. All three are continuously seeking individuals who want to practice leadership and learning: throughout your communities. If you want to commit to a community-based ,
Another way to seek is through your workplace. Several companies have developed built-in mentorships through their onboarding processes. They pair you with individuals who are successfully meeting requirements and can help you grow. If this isn’t available at your workplace, create it!
You have the power to lead people as much as anyone else. If you wish to have a more informal structure, you can chat with individuals through informational interviews. This means that you aren’t going into the meeting with the expectation of being hired, but you are allowing yourself the opportunity to learn more.
What if I need mentoring with my recovery for addiction or?
Sponsorship is one of the most special mentorships that can happen between two individuals. 12-step programs are filled with opportunities to serve and connect with people who are impacted by diseases. Whether you identify as an alcoholic, narcotics addict, codependent, overeater, sex addict, or child of an alcoholic; there is program that can help you. There is support available for teens as well through AlaTeen. A starting point is in the rooms of recovery. You get to choose what to take and leave the rest.
For , there are several support groups available in communities in and outside Colorado. The Colorado Mental Wellness Program and Colorado Crisis Services both offer trainings for mentorships and provide for those who struggle with .
Giving and receiving support from others enhances a sense of community and belonging which can be helpful in reducing anxiety, depression, and helps in managing stress, physical and emotional pain, and loss that comes as part of living. It makes suffering less sufferable and supports purpose with and beyond ourselves.
If you are engaged in therapy for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, ADHD, trauma, bipolar disorder, grief, body image struggles or anything else, engaging in a mentorship can be a great additional way to aid in your healing and recovery.
can be beneficial to both mentor’s and mentee’s mental, emotional and physical health. If you think mentorship might be beneficial to you, we encourage you to check out the resources we have provided and even research more options available to you in your community.
is a healthy way to connect and grow with the support of people who care about you.
Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC
Denver Metro Counseling is a group of clinicians who provide therapeutic support for teens, adults, parents, and families. We provide supportive therapy for people struggling with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, ADHD, negative body image, and more.