Take a minute to think about the best mentor you’ve ever had. It could be your boss, a colleague, a parent, a friend, a coach, or a college professor.
Then, you reach a point in your life where you have the chance to do the same for someone else. It can be both exciting, and a little confusing.
Question: What is a mentor?
As we mentioned in one of our previous blogs “Mentorship, the forgotten foundation of knowledge transfer”, Mentors are the people that help us to grow, the people we admire and look up to. These mentors come to our lives in an informal way and, most of the time, we don’t search for them intentionally.
Here are our tips on How to Be an Amazing Mentor in 10 Ways
- Understand what you want out of the relationship.
- Set expectations together from the start
- Learn more about your mentee’s personal interests
- Build Trust
- Feel the right moment for advice
- Don’t try guessing thoughts, just ask your mentee
- Share more about your journey so far
- Celebrate their achievements
- Share useful resources with your mentee
- Improve your self-awareness
Understand what you want out of the relationship
As you may know, mentorship isn’t a one-way relationship. This means that just like the mentee, you should know the type of relationship you’re looking for and what you want to gain from this program.
Set expectations together from the start
Once you know what you want out of the mentorship relationship, setting expectations is the next step of your journey as a mentor.
Every mentor-mentee relationship is unique. So, don’t forget to start with a discussion about each one’s expectations and determine if you’re ready for that commitment.
Learn more about your mentee’s personal interests
Get to know your mentee on a deeper personal level. This will help you build a strong trusted relationship, and it’ll also help you understand their true personality, how they communicate, and so on. It’s important to listen closely to what they’re saying, ask open questions and act as a sounding board.
Creating a safe zone of trusted relationships is the foundation of a successful mentoring program. You have to make your mentee feel like she can really be herself in front of you. Lots of sincere sharing from both sides and you will get there.
Feel the right moment for advice
A good mentor knows when to hit ‘pause’ during a conversation and say what has to be said.
When you’re mentoring someone, you feel the pressure of giving the mentee a piece of advice straight away. But not all feedback is helpful feedback, and knowing the difference is key.
Don’t try guessing thoughts, just ask your mentee
In mentoring guessing and making assumptions doesn’t work. Only once you’ve gotten an honest background on a problem by asking the right questions you can share helpful, relevant feedback to your mentee.
Share more about your journey so far
Being a good mentor means being open to sharing also your own mistakes and failures. We all have our ups and downs and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Not only is it helpful information for problem-solving purposes, but it also builds trust and strengthens the relationship.
Celebrate their achievements
A high percentage of the mentees, part of a mentorship program, seek approval from their mentors.
When you take the time to highlight and even celebrate your mentee’s successes and achievements, you’re also helping her in building confidence and keeping them motivated.
Share useful resources with your mentee
Great mentors look for situations – and some even create situations – to help their mentees realize where are they now and how to get closer to their goals.
Seeking resources can be anything from connecting them with someone with experience in their dream job to sending them an invitation for an event they might be interested in.
Improve your self-awareness
A mentor who is self-aware is not married to their ego or unaware of their weaknesses.
Self-awareness helps mentors see their own blind spots so that they can help their mentees avoid mistakes they themselves made, and a mentor’s enthusiasm can help their mentees become more invested in the mentoring process—and the outcome.
“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself” – Galileo Galilei