As promised in my previous post about the benefits of being a mentor, I'm following up with some tips that influenced my mentorship experience to have a positive and fruitful relationship with my mentees, and also gain critical skills to improve as a leader.
Being result-oriented helps the mentoring relationship be very efficient and successful. My role as a mentor is to support my mentees and guide them to formulate new ideas and finds alternatives for achieving progress.
Having a picture of success by setting goals is a suitable starting point to help mentees develop an initiative. I would then encourage them to integrate their goals or objectives with their strengths and the positive aspects of their lives that can help them achieve the goal. Using the goal setting worksheets that are on the DAA resources library became very useful and saved us a lot of time and effort in this step!
Be available – hold regular meetings
The mentoring process requires regular meetings to ensure that the mentee’s improvement and progress are reviewed by the mentor. Regular doesn’t have to be weekly. It depends on the mentor and mentee. I found that a 1-hour video chat, once a month, was perfect with my last mentee. We sometimes exchanged text messages or emails in between as needed, but goal reviews and discussions happened in that monthly hour. I also made it clear that the mentee must assume the responsibility of scheduling meetings and preparing agendas, in the same manner, that I as a mentor should commit to regular connection.
Being honest with my mentees has proven successful in helping them get a true picture of how it’s like going up the career ladder. It might be easier to remember the wins and appealing to focus on those wins as exemplars of how to achieve similar career success. However, some of the best career lessons occur when we get it wrong. Sharing your failures will help mentees understand that there will be highs and lows, challenges and obstacles; and that persistence and learning from mistakes are essential to future success.
Honesty in feedback and advice is equally important too; do tell them if they’re setting an unrealistic goal or they’re not progressing well. However, emphasis should be on assisting them to see what is already working in their efforts. As such, I do not only focus on rectifying what is not working in the work of my mentees but also strive to find ways of helping them improve the positive attributes or things that already make their career better. This strategy ensures that the mentees attain the right balance of success and failure by refraining from shunning the positive aspects of their lives to focus only on improving other parts.
Being a mentor helped me come up with new ways to bring out the best in others, recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and look into my own strengths and weaknesses to give sound advice and be supportive, and most importantly, how to look within in order to make a positive change.
Happy mentoring everyone!#Mentoring