Mentorship: the guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or educational institution.
Good Friday afternoon, ladies and gents. I'm back to share another great article with you all today. Maybe you've reached the point in your career where you have a good amount of experience and success. With that experience and success, you have a level of knowledge that could be very useful to young entrepreneurs and business owners.
Have you ever considered becoming a mentor?This article I read from US Chamber offers some great tips to become a mentor, or maybe a better one:
Establish Expectations Before beginning a mentorship, the first step is to explain your area of expertise and how you can best serve your potential candidate. Ask specific questions to evaluate what type of mentor they need; whether it be a coach, educator, or networker. Once these prereqs are determined, it's your turn to outline your expectations. These may include showing up for meetings on time, being prepared with specific issues to discuss, honesty, etc.
Set Goals Setting realistic goals with your mentee is a sure way for both of you to measure and track progress. According to the article, "If your mentee works within your organization, help them align their goals to the company’s primary objectives. When possible, meet with their manager and ask them what areas they would like to see their employee improve on." A great tactic to employ is the use of SMART goals:
Create A Schedule Consistency is key in, well, pretty much everything. Setting and maintaining a consistent, regular schedule with your mentee is a major part of the mentorship. "A regular schedule will allow them to voice their questions or concerns without them taking an excessive amount of your time." Meetings could be bi-monthly, monthly, or weekly, just as long as they fit both or schedules.
Listen Before You Advise You may hear your mentee's issues, but are you actually listening? Great mentors are also great listeners. It's not uncommon to want to treat your mentee as a sponge and fill them full of knowledge. Focus on developing your listening skills so you'll be able to fully understand the concerns of your mentee, and then you can provide them with the very best information.
Encourage Their Own Decisions As a mentor, you are there to guide and offer wisdom, but not make decisions. "It can be tempting to tell your protege what to do and how to do it, but this habit won’t encourage them to learn and grow." One lesson during the mentorship is to be sure to instill critical thinking skills into your mentee. That way they'll be able to make well thought-out and confident decisions, all on their own.
I hope these points give you a better idea of what a mentor looks like. Maybe the article has encouraged you to become a mentor, or shown you where to make adjustments. What advice would you add to the list? How are you currently mentoring others to be the best version of themselves as business men and women?