At some point in life, we all need advice and being a mentor is a meaningful way to provide it. Mentoring not only empowers others but also ourselves.
If you feel you’re ready to mentor, then here are five tips to be a strong mentor:
Lead by Example
Dedication and work ethics are important qualities that any mentee should witness from his or her mentor. If it takes extras hours to get the job done, so be it. That’s how you really set the tone and leave an impression on someone. Through leading by example, you demonstrate how something is done versus just saying it. It’s a commitment to excellence.
Make an Impression
Actions speak louder than words. Make a concerted effort to display qualities that a mentee can aspire to be like. You’ll always be in the spotlight for someone looking up to you. Challenges encountered along the way should be emphasized to mentees as learning opportunities versus setbacks.
Show a Genuine Interest
Make the effort to see or talk to your mentee at least quarterly. You shouldn’t have to go out of your way to meet with this individual. Oftentimes, he or she will set up an appointment or a meeting with you to discuss what’s on their mind. Be willing to accept the invitation. If you don’t have the time, be honest and follow up in the near future.
Set Diverse Goals
It’s important to remember that you’re not holding anybody’s hand every step of the way. Allow your mentee to tackle objectives independently. Setting diverse goals is one way to do it. You may recommend certain paths or options, but at the end of the day let them accomplish the goals you set.
Help Cultivate Connections
Your pearls of wisdom and connections are two areas that a mentee can truly benefit from. Don’t feel obligated to offer your Rolodex of contacts to someone, simply offer to make an introduction. If you have another colleague who can speak about a matter from experience, help your mentee cross his or her path. Teamwork makes the dream work!
If you want to become a mentor inquire with Human Resources or your manager to see whether your organization has a mentoring program. Remember, it isn’t only the mentee who is going to get value, you may even learn a thing or two from the experience.