Do you sometimes feel like there’s more out there? Or that you could be making a bigger difference? If you are still looking for a way to get energised and feel more fulfilled this year, there is a straightforward answer- become a mentor! Keep in mind that you don’t need to wait for a formal mentoring programme to start having a positive impact as a mentor – this blog offers advice on how to develop into a fantastic mentor, with or without a programme. Read on to find out more about what it takes to be a mentor, and some tips on mentoring successfully.
What is a mentor’s role?
The purpose of mentoring is the growth of both the mentor and mentee personally and professionally. The “mentor” is typically a trusted advisor who imparts knowledge, wisdom, and guidance to the “mentee,” who is typically less experienced. In the workplace, this may translate to the mentor supporting their colleagues’ transition into the next phase of their career/professional development.
Mentoring is in no way meant to be a hierarchical or passive process. In fact, this partnership should be built on a foundation of mutual respect and trust, and it usually has benefits for both the individuals’ personal and professional lives. The business mentor can develop their leadership skills as well as improve their communication. They can also profit from unique perspectives and learn fresh ways of thinking! The mentee, on the other hand, can gain valuable insight and advice from the mentor. It is also a great way to advance their career and benefit from the knowledge of someone more experienced.
Evaluating your skills
Mentorship may feel intimidating, but it does not have to be. You are probably wondering whether you have the skills to become a mentor. We can maybe help clarify this question for you. Let’s take a moment to reflect.
Think about a situation in your life when you had a breakthrough. An experience that helped you see something you completely ignored before. Maybe you’ve attended a mind-blowing workshop or read a book that completely changed your perspective on things. Have you felt the urge to share it with others immediately- maybe a friend or a colleague?
Mentoring others is often considered to be a natural drive that we all have. It’s the drive to inspire others and share with them the things that we have discovered throughout our own journey, and the benefits they have brought us. It is thus not surprising that ‘most people are energised by their mentoring relationships.’ We want to share what we have learnt with others.
How to make the mentoring relationship meaningful and energising?
If and when you do decide to become a mentor, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure that it brings value to both the parties involved. As you want a mentorship relationship that is rewarding and meaningful, you need to commit and be accountable. Decide how much time you are willing to invest upfront and give it your full attention.
Make sure that your mentee is teachable as well as determined. Consider asking the following questions:
• Is the mentee open about where they are and where they want to get?
• Is the mentee coming up with relevant topics and are they respectful of your time?
• Are they really asking for help?
• Are they open to feedback?
• Do you have common values?
• Is the conversation flowing?
The answers to these questions may help you determine whether you are on the right track. If you foresee a positive outcome, then do not hesitate to pursue this further. You might want to have a dedicated diary where you keep track of your mentee’s progress. Creating a safe environment of trust and respect is essential to these partnerships. This may be implemented by scheduling regular coffee sessions to keep track of their progress and check in with them. Start your journey towards becoming a mentor today!