Being a mentor is living an ideal – walking the talk – and easier said than done. So, we bring you some tips on doing this right.
Mentoring is a pivotal role to play in the lives of others. Mentoring can not only help others excel in life with the wisdom you’ve gained over many years of your experience, it is in fact an age old guru-shishya way of creating a legacy of skill and excellence. In a more worldly sense, focusing on your mentees’ personal and professional development is a great way to make them feel valued. In this article, we outline the qualities of a highly effective mentor.
Is Willing to Always Learn
You need to be committed and open to continuous learning regardless of where you are in your growth cycle. Whether it be refining soft skills like presenting to an audience or learning a new technology or methodology, a good mentor always learns to keep his edge.
Is Wise and Knowledgeable
You need to effectively pass down the knowledge / skills in your area of expertise. It will help others benefit from the insights you have gained through your years of hard work. Your exploration and worldview can help your mentee become more open to different approaches. You can teach them problem-solving skills and help them be more appreciative of other people’s paths and choices.
Is an Open & Active Listener
You need to respect and pay attention to what others have to say, even if you don’t agree. You need to encourage the other person to speak their heart out and demonstrate interest and understanding in their problems and approach.
Offers Guidance & Constructive Feedback
One of the key responsibilities of a good mentor is the ability to provide guidance and constructive feedback to the mentee. You not only need to assist your mentee with problem-solving skills, but you also need to increase your mentee’s self-confidence by giving them quality feedback. Help them understand their potential, their strengths, weaknesses and encourage them to excel in their fields.
You need to be a role model yourself and serve as an example to others. You need to show the mentee what it takes to be productive and successful in life. You should be able to show them how to live with integrity, optimism, hope, determination and compassion. These traits play an essential part in a person’s positive development.
Whether the person is an early-stage entrepreneur or an experienced business professional – mistakes are part and parcel of being human. Never forget to understand this and encourage the mentee to do better with examples of experienced leaders and successful businessmen.
As a good mentor, commit time and energy to develop your mentee. Take the time to understand her questions and give thoughtful and thorough inputs. Ask your mentee for regular updates to understand their progress—what’s working and what's not—this will make you more effective as a mentor. Don’t stop there! Think through their best path forward and always see how you can help. Introduce them to your professional network or recommend them for high-profile jobs. Finding ways to open doors, is the job and success of a mentor.