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5 ways to become a good mentor

Bhupendra Sharma
3rd Nov 2016
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“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”- William Arthur Ward, American author

Most people have the knowledge required to be successful, but thisdoesn't mean they can all be good mentors. What differentiates a great mentor from the rest of the crowd is his ability to teach, guide, nurture and understand the talent of a mentee.

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All the sportsmen, entrepreneurs, CXOs and artists who've ever made a dent in the universe in one way or another have had one thing in common –perfect mentorship. Sachin Tendulkar (RamakantAchrekar), Oprah Winfrey (Maya Angelou), Mark Zuckerberg (Steve Jobs), Bob Dylan (Woody Guthrie), Mother Teresa (Father Michael Van Der Peet) and Bill Gates (Warren Buffett) are some of the well-known products of great mentorship.

In an interview, PepsiCo CEO IndraNooyi once said, “If I hadn’t had mentors, I wouldn’t be here today. I’m a product of great mentoring, great coaching.”

If one has acquired enough knowledge in theirlifetime, it's theirduty to pass on this knowledge to someone else. That's what great mentors do! They pass on their wisdom to deserving candidates without expecting anything in return.

If you think you've got the knowledge, experience and wisdom to pass on to the next generation for the betterment of society, you should probably give a serious thought to mentoring. Here are five important ways which can help you:

Accept your mentee as who they are

Not every mentee may display the same skill level, and some make take longer than others to learn these skills. You need to understand this fact even before you begin your journey as a mentor. No two people are the same. Accept them as who they are and then try to nurture their skills gradually. The process may seem to be grueling at the start, but if you're determined to make a dent, you'll get amazing results.

Be genuinely interested in your mentees

Mentorship is more personal, long-term and congenial than coaching, and you need to keep it that way. If you decide to accept someone as your mentee, then be genuinely interested in them. This relation is very important for them.So break the ice, know their dreams and show them right path.

Share your achievements andmistakes in the form of stories

Storytelling is probably one of the most underrated forms of communication today. In order to inspire your mentees to walk the extra mile and do the unexpected, you need to tell them the stories of others who've done that already. If you're one such personality, don't shy away from sharing your achievements with them in a polite manner. Along with achievements, make sure you also share the mistakes that you made while pursuing this path and how they can avoid those mistakes to shorten the overall process of becoming successful.

Provide them constant feedback

Unless you know their strengths and weaknesses, you can't point your mentees in the right direction. So, engage them in different activities andprojects, and based on their performance, provide your feedback. It will help your mentees improve their performance. Just keep one thing in mind – ask for their permission before sharing your feedback. Experts claim that unwanted feedback may lead to an inimical mentor-mentee relationship. So, keep that in mind and offer your feedback about their progress and performance from time to time.

Cherish their achievements

No matter how small they are, cherish all the achievements of your mentees. This practice will not only strengthen your relationship but also give your mentee the courage and self-confidence to do the impossible. It has worked for others, and it will work for you, too.

There can be ten thousand other ways, but if you keep in mind these points and be determined to help your mentees, nobody can stop you from becoming a great mentor.

Do you know a great mentor personally? If yes, which qualities of him or her do you like the most? Please share your opinion with others.

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