In the same way that middle-aged adults are often in the sandwich generation, balancing parenting growing families with caring for aging parents, I lately feel like I am smack dab in the middle of a mentoring sandwich.

I am mentoring others (sometimes more thoughtfully and intentionally than others) while I am blessed to have several helpful mentors in my life.

Here are some of the benefits of being in the middle of a mentoring sandwich:

  1. What I learn, I can immediately share. One of the best ways to cement learning is to teach others. Because I am always simultaneously mentoring others while being mentored, I can reinforce my own learning by passing it along to those I am mentoring.
  2. When I have a leadership challenge, I can seek the wisdom of my mentors. Almost every day presents challenges — and every challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve as a leader. I am grateful for mentors who give me wise advice and encouragement.
  3. My mentors model behavior I want to emulate; I have great examples to follow. When I get stuck, I can remember how my mentors have approached me: ways they’ve given advice, listened, asked great questions, and shared encouragement. Their helpful words play as a soundtrack in my mind.

I’ll take the middle of the mentoring sandwich anytime, with the opportunity to learn from others while teaching what I can to the people I lead.

Tell me something! What is your favorite kind of sandwich? Where are you in the mentoring sandwich? What benefits do you see in being mentored and mentoring others at the same time?

Today’s post is in celebration of the launch of Managers as Mentors: Building Partnerships for Learning by Chip R. Bell and Marshall Goldsmith. Managers as Mentors is an amazing resource for anyone looking to make a difference through mentoring, in the workplace or anywhere. I encourage you to buy a few copies today! Chip has become a kind and thoughtful mentor to me over these past few months, and I am grateful for the ways he is helping me learn and grow.

photo credit wEnDaLicious