How to Be a Great Mentor
What does it take to be an effective mentor and why should you even consider it? Even if you don’t do it for a living or don’t imagine seeing yourself mentoring another person, there are several good reasons why you consider taking on the role.
Mentoring works both ways. While there is no question that your mentee gains valuable insights and knowledge from the relationship, you also stand to gain something in return. By becoming a mentor, you don’t only change someone else’s life. You bring a positive change in your life as well.
Mentorship has its own rewards. Aside from helping shape tomorrow’s leaders, it can:
- Broaden your horizons and allow you to see things from a different perspective.
- Challenge old habits and behaviors and evaluate how well you are living your own life.
- Learn more about your industry, company, and profession.
- Achieve personal career gains (e.g. promotion, salary raise, etc.).
- Develop leadership skills and hone your potentials.
9 Tips to Be the Best Mentor You Can Be
Basically, being a mentor means being someone’s trusted advisor. Whether you’re helping a new hire settle into their new job or helping someone to determine their career or personal life goals, you can be the best mentor you can possibly be by following these simple yet effective tips.
- Recognize the uniqueness of the relationship. No two mentor/mentee relationships are the same so make a careful assessment to know which management and communication style works best for you. You should also set the level of commitment you are willing to make before accepting the role.
- Set expectations right from the start. Discuss what you and your mentee want to achieve from the relationship.
- Make it personal. Mentors who know their mentees on a more personal level and understand who they are as a person are often more equipped to give the best advice. So, listen to what they have to say. That’s one of the best way to help them achieve their goals.
- Wait for the right time. You don’t necessarily have to give advice or feedback right away, especially if it won’t benefit your mentee or the relationship. It’s perfectly okay to hit the pause button once in a while if you feel you need more time to get the information you need to come up with the best possible solution to the issue.
- Ask questions. Don’t assume anything. Instead, dig deeper by asking the right questions.
- Share past mistakes. By doing so, you can earn their trust and make it easier for them to admit their own mistakes and shortcomings. This simple act also helps strengthen your relationship with your mentee.
- Acknowledge their achievements. Celebrating milestones and successes can build your mentee’s confidence and motivate them to work harder to reach their goal.
- Go the extra mile. Mentors who selflessly and freely give more than what their mentees expect of them usually produce the greatest impact.
- Lead by example. Your mentee will learn a lot not only from what you tell them during your discussions but from your actions and behavior as well.
Being a mentor and having the chance to give someone the support and advice they need when they need it most is an extremely rewarding experience. Are you ready to give it a try? You definitely should.
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