How to be a good mentorSeema Gurnani
Being a good mentor can be really rewarding, not only to the mentee, but to the mentor as well. Mentors offer a lot of things to their mentees including, and not limited to, an exceptional learning experience and increased awareness, perspective and insight. Bill Gates had Warren Buffet, and Luke Skywalker had Yoda. So here’s what you can do to be a good mentor, make a difference in both yours and your mentee’s life and career:
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The best mentors are those who are credible and have achieved success in the same field in which the mentee is looking for support. Being a mentor does not mean that you have to have all the answers. Offer wisdom and help them to find the answers on their own.
Be a positive role model
A good mentor is always respected by their mentees. Mentees also learn by observing their mentor’s behavior in certain situations. A good mentor will look out for experiences or create situations for their mentees to become involved and learn new things and gather new experience.
Take genuine interest in your mentee as an individual
The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is a very personal one. You, as a mentor, should try to understand everything about your mentee – their dreams, hopes and goals in life – so that you can give them proper guidance. A good mentor can teach their mentee how to strike a good balance between work and personal life. A parent cannot be a good mentor as emotions will get in the way of guidance, and the same goes for a manager. A manager will only look for their personal and their company’s interests. Thus, you need to know as much as you can about your mentee.
Proper motivation is the key to a successful mentor-mentee relationship. In times of self-doubt, you need to remind your mentees about their achievements that they may have forgotten. Do not forget to celebrate as your mentee achieves something during the learning period.
Share your insights and experiences
While you share your stories, pick those you think will help your mentee improve as an individual. Do not shy away from sharing your own mistakes and failures as well, because we learn our biggest lessons through mistakes and failure.
Offer your advice, but only if your mentee asks for it
One of the biggest problems anyone faces is whom to ask for advice and whom not to. It is always tempting for everybody to just jump into any situation and start giving their advice before even anyone asks for it, just because you have dealt with the same kind of situation. You need to be sound and let your mentee discuss the problem with you before you draw conclusions on your own. This will always be more empowering for the mentee as well, rather than when you just tell them what to do.
Provide helpful feedback
Not all feedback is going to be helpful. A good mentor knows this and will deliver feedback in such a way that it will help their mentees pick up further skills. A good mentor will always ask before giving any feedback. Unwelcome feedback is always going to be detrimental to any kind of mentoring relationship. Instead, you could explain what aspects you would like to talk about first and also highlight the benefits.
If you keep the above mentioned points in mind, then you are surely on your way to being a great mentor.