Have you ever wondered how to become a mentor? Mentorship is a two-person relationship in which a more experienced or knowledgeable person guides someone less experienced or knowledgeable, resulting in a mentor and a mentee.
Mentors are important because they can be crucial in one’s personal and professional development. A good mentor will help you reach your goals and achieve success in life.
Similarly, being a good mentor allows you to touch other people’s lives and help them in their personal and professional development. But if you want to be able to do this, you first need to learn how to be an effective mentor.
7 Steps on How to Be a Better Mentor
There are seven most important steps on how to be a better mentor. They are the following:
- Build communication
- Set goals and determine what is the end goal
- Gain trust
- Motivate your mentee
- Give feedback
- Create opportunities for the mentee
You have to follow these seven important steps if you want to have a good mentor-mentee relationship. The best experts and mentors not only have flexible minds, but they also remain humble, and fine-tune and tweak their models to remain relevant to those around them.
1. Build Communication
Communication is very important in this relationship, especially during the first meeting with your mentee. You want to ensure that your mentee feels comfortable and relaxed.
The first meeting is very important because this is where you will be building the foundation of your relationship. Get to know each other, ask good questions, and let the mentee also ask you questions as well since they have to get to know you as their mentor. Let the conversation flow so that the mentee will also be more than willing to open up to you.
Be willing to share the skills, expertise, and knowledge that you have developed over time. You need to openly and honestly share as much as you can with your mentee.
If you are mentoring someone who is your colleague, you already know something about each other. You can build a conversation about work-related issues, which is a good start.
You don’t always have to give answers or ask questions. Sometimes, it’s important to just sit back and listen because the mentee wants to tell you something.
If your mentee needs your opinion or an answer to one of their problems, they will most likely ask you for your opinion or what you believe is the next best step. Otherwise, it is perfectly acceptable to sit back and listen and demonstrate that you understand where they are coming from.
As a mentor, you should ask questions that will reveal certain aspects of the mentee’s life—whether personal or professional—or whatever you are discussing and where your mentor-mentee relationship has taken you.
3. Set Goals and Determine What the End Goal Is
Remember, the reason for a mentee to come to you is that they trust that you can help them develop themselves, perform well at work, and be something different. For that, you want to set achievable goals for your mentee.
When your mentee achieves those easy goals, they will be more comfortable and open to new goals. As a mentor, you can help your mentee grow and develop in a specific area by agreeing on a specific task to be completed at a specific time or period and then moving forward by focusing on bigger and more ambitious goals. That is what mentorship is all about.
Another way to demonstrate transparency and build a relationship with your mentee is to share your own goals as well. If you share your personal or career goals with your mentee, they are more likely to take their own goals seriously because they have bought into your goals, and vice versa.
Setting goals with your mentee at the start of the relationship helps set the tone of the relationship and create focus in the relationship. It gives both the mentor and the mentee something to hold each other accountable for in the relationship. It establishes the groundwork for proactively addressing problems.
4. Gain Their Trust
Trust and respect supports the mentor-mentee relationship through transparent and honest communication. It’s easy to overlook trust when it’s present, but when it’s missing, it’s nearly impossible to think about anything else.
Build your mentoring program on a foundation of trusting relationships to ensure its success. As the mentor, you must earn your mentee’s trust for them to feel free to open up to you, and the only way to do so is through conversations with them, allowing them into your life, and being honest with them.
Meeting face-to-face is recommended by most mentors online as another way to build trust with your mentee. It can be done through emails and chats, but the most important one is to schedule regular face-to-face or video meetings.
5. Motivate Your Mentee
If you want to be a better mentor, you must learn how to encourage other people. If you see someone you are mentoring, the first thing you should say is something positive—some sort of acknowledgment, words of praise, or gratitude.
Praise choices and behavior rather than natural talents. It is far more powerful. That will encourage the mentee to continue doing what you just praised them for.
As a mentor, it is critical that you praise, acknowledge, and encourage people regularly. Send them an email as a reminder, or send them a video clip for them to listen to and later discuss at your next meeting.
Being a great mentor, you must always be willing to encourage others on the good they do, no matter how little it is. Keep in mind that the mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street; you will learn something as well, so be open to receiving feedback.
You can also work on a task yourself and have your mentee outline what you did well and where you did not. Give them a chance to give you feedback in return. By doing so, you are giving your mentee more freedom, and motivating them to grow and be more willing to take on tasks.
6. Give Feedback
Great mentors take their time, have a plan, are extremely encouraging, and know when to offer corrections and instructions. This is crucial.
You must bring corrections while remaining kind and relaxed. You should look at the mentee and say, “This is a good way to do it, but how else can we go about this?” or “This is incorrect. Let’s look at this again, together.”
A great mentor must be able to provide constructive feedback while also actively listening to determine what the mentee needs for growth. The mentee should be open to feedback and use active listening to ensure that they understand what is being communicated to them.
You have to give constructive feedback so the mentee can learn. When giving feedback, plan the next step on how you’re both going to overcome the problems and analyze what you could have done differently in hindsight.
Always provide feedback when possible to help your mentee grow more quickly.
7. Create Opportunities for the Mentee
The goal is to assist your mentee in achieving personal and professional goals. Mentorship is important because it helps people realize their potential skills and development. This allows them to reach their goals more quickly than they would on their own. This is because it’s easier to tap into your potential with the support and guidance of an experienced mentor.
Mentees can broaden their network and gain access to new people through mentorship in a variety of ways. Mentors can share their connections with mentees directly.
A mentor may also introduce a mentee to one or two key individuals who can assist with the mentee’s career development or goals.
Benefits of Having a Mentor in the Workplace
- Mentees receive expert advice on how to navigate the company and perform better at work.
- Mentees who are new to the organization or position have a shorter learning curve than others, resulting in a smoother transition.
- Being a mentee entails receiving personalized career advice from a professional.
- Employee training, professional development, and culture change can all be achieved through mentoring programs. One or two team members can be put in place to ensure that the program gets off to a good start.
- The mentor can schedule regular opportunities for mentors and mentees to interact. These could be activities like group discussions, professional development seminars, team-building exercises, or guest speakers.
Mentorship is important because it helps people realize their potential skills and development. This allows them to reach their goals more quickly than they would on their own. Being a mentor does not only mean knowing the skills needed to succeed in life, it also means being able to communicate and share these skills with other people.
If you’re wondering how you can help other people by mentoring them more effectively, you should start with these seven easy steps on how to be a better mentor.
Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com