5 Tips On How To Be A Good Mentor
Posted May 2, 2019, by Jenny
You’ve taken the plunge and put your hand up to be a mentor. Congratulations! Done right, mentorship can be a really rewarding journey for both parties. Here are a few tips on getting your mentorship off to a great start and how to make the most of this important professional relationship.
Establish Purpose And Clarify Roles
Before setting out on the mentorship journey, it’s important to get clear on roles and establish a shared purpose; how will both parties benefit from the relationship?
The role of the mentor; share their knowledge and expertise, help make industry introductions and provide support.
The mentee is to seek advice and commit to progressing their professional growth.
Set Ground Rules
The best mentor / mentee relationships are usually quite ‘open door’ when it comes to communication but it’s a good idea to set a few ground rules. What kind of response time will there be for emails and calls to be returned? Is it ok to drop in for an unscheduled meeting?
Also, agree on a timeframe for the mentorship. Having clear milestones and an endpoint will help maximise the productivity of the relationship.
In the initial meeting, you should assess what stage the mentee is at in their career and where they see themselves headed. What skills and experience do they need to reach their destination?
An assessment of the mentees current strengths and areas for improvement can provide a framework for professional goal setting.
Document goals and milestone dates formally so progress and accountability can be tracked at each meeting.
Plan A Regular Check-in Schedule
Creating a meeting schedule and committing to it will keep up the momentum.
Decide when and where you will meet and diarise it as a recurring appointment, for example, every week on Thursday or each last Tuesday of the month. Discuss what will happen if either of you needs to postpone the meeting, will you check in via a call or email instead?
Provides Constructive Feedback
To help a mentee identify and learn the skills they need to take their career next level, a great mentor provides timely, constructive feedback.
Providing feedback regularly means the mentee won’t get caught up taking a wrong approach to their professional development and things will stay on track.
Keep feedback specific and simple, if there are a few areas to work on, don’t overwhelm the mentee with a long list of what they may see as ‘faults’. Handle one area of feedback at a time.
It’s always a good idea to acknowledge the mentees successes as well as providing insight on where they can improve.
Some of the world's most successful people credit mentors in playing a huge role in shaping their careers. We hope you're feeling inspired and excited about getting started on your own journey as a mentor!