Think back on a positive mentorship experience you have had.
What stands out to you?
If you’ve worked with a great mentor, you know that mentors can be a huge asset to one’s success when you find the right fit! This post will share with you mentorship tips as well as advice for finding a great mentor!
But first...what is a mentor?
Mentors are trusted advisors who readily offer their knowledge and support to someone seeking them out. Mentors are usually experts or senior-level executives in their given field.
If you are a mentor, it’s likely because you have experiences that are useful to those just starting out in their careers who could use your knowledge.
Though there isn’t exactly a manual to follow when becoming a mentor, there are essential actions of building an effective mentor and mentee relationship.
Keep reading to discover three actionable mentorship tips:
Set the parameters of your mentor and mentee relationship in the beginning. This means discuss when you will meet, the topic of your meetings, and what you both hope to accomplish as a result so that expectations are aligned.
About 50% of senior business leaders update their goals throughout the year. This is because they know in order to be successful, you must set goals that are specific and measurable. Many people pass on having a mentor in the workplace because they are afraid it's a waste of time. However, having a mentor is a source of accountability that you don't get when you're on your own.
Having a mentee helps you to remain accountable to your goals as well. They help you define benchmarks and track growth, which are essential to success. You will have a hard time challenging someone if you aren’t challenging yourself, too. So don’t be surprised when you see yourself progressing!
Define that part of the relationship from the beginning so that the mentee is aware that he/she can challenge you along the way, too. A mutually beneficial mentorship helps both parties get what they need.
The next essential action is to gain an understanding of what your mentee needs from the relationship. Sometimes a mentee comes in thinking he/she needs certain things from the mentor, but through further exploration, they were wrong.
Take the time to see where the gaps are and then make suggestions on what you think the mentee may need while still honoring his/her own desires.
Learning what your mentee needs will also help with setting clear goals.
Also, as mentioned above, be aware that you as the mentor have needs as well, and there can easily be a mutually beneficial relationship!
For 58% of businesses, closing leadership gaps is a top priority. These businesses pair senior staff with junior or below to teach them valuable skills. In these settings, both the mentee and the organization gain from the skills learned.
Great mentors know when to listen and when to speak up. In fact, great leaders often can't help but give away advice in success podcasts, blogs, or the boardroom. Allow your mentee to practice these same skills like conducting a meeting, leading a project, etc. and then observe them in their element. Afterward, offer constructive feedback on what they did well and where they can make improvements.
Constructive feedback isn't based on personal bias or an assumed interpretation. It is specific to an action, offers alternative solutions, and is timely. Set aside time in your meetings to give feedback for ongoing projects. If possible, give feedback face-to-face to eliminate accidental misinterpretations.
Before you find a mentee, define what you want to offer and what your goals are for the relationship. After that, finding a suitable candidate is a task that will likely be done through pairing you with those in your organization.
However, if your organization does not do this, then it is best done through networking. Local colleges or programs within your business are also good sources. Ask colleagues if they know of anyone who could benefit from your mentorship.
Interview potential candidates by taking them out to lunch or launching a formal application process. Ask questions that identify the candidate’s strengths, goals, and past accomplishments and then choose the right fit!
Putting Mentorship Tips Into Action
Learning how to be a mentor is an ongoing learning experience.The more you do it, the better you'll be. There are many leadership and mentorship tips you could try, but the most successful relationships come from clear goals, mutual benefits, and providing feedback on action steps so they can apply what they’ve learned.
Remember, mentoring today makes great leaders for tomorrow.
Are you wanting to better develop yourself so you can be a better mentor? We would love to have you trial our leadership membership where we offer resources, trainings, and expert support to equip you to become a better leader for your people! For more information, click here.