Who’s a mentor? Various words can best describe a mentor. A mentor can be someone who offers guidance, advice, teaches, a role model and to some extent, a confidant. For you to become a better mentor, you need to possess specific skills and experience depending on your area of specialization. Are you looking to better yourself as a mentor or wondering what you need to know before getting yourself one? If yes, this article is for you.
There are different categories of mentors some of which include life, career, and peer mentors. Depending on what your specialty is, ways through which you can better yourself as a mentor cut across the board. In this article, we are going to explore various ways through which you can improve your mentorship skills to become the best you can ever be.
Ways Through Which You Can Become a Better Mentor
Get to know your mentee
Well, understanding your client’s strengths and weaknesses will enable you to know them better. That way, you will able to tailor a mentorship program that seeks to improve their weaknesses as well as sharpen their strengths.
Knowing your mentee can be achieved in a face to face interview, social media, phone call, messaging or any other form of communication you deem fit. Asking the right questions, ensuring you get the correct feedback and seeking clarity where necessary will help you know your mentee much better.
To set goals, a mentor should get to know their mentee first as described above. Working with a purpose makes it easier and more fun, hence the need to set goals.
As a mentor, outline your expectations of the mentee by the end of the mentorship program. The mentee should also let the mentor know the goals they’d like to achieve. By so doing, each of the parties understand better the roles they need to play for the mentorship to be a complete success.
Come Up With a Schedule
Ever heard of the saying that failure to plan is a plan to fail? Yes, if you don’t anticipate the flow of your program, you’ll not achieve your goals.
To come up with a schedule, the mentor and the mentee should consult and agree. When making the timetable, consider the availability of both parties.
Also, coming up with a plan will enable a good flow of activities as one can tell when to do what, what follows what and so on hence saving time.
Learn To Listen More
As a mentor, you want to understand your client so that you can be of more help to them. Therefore, let them do most of the talking, that way you will be able to come up with the right diagnosis for their problem as well as know them much better.
As you listen, make sure to ask the right questions and seek clarity whenever need be. Doing so will help you gather as much information as possible thus simplifying most of your work.
Motivate Your Mentee
Whether at work, in school, at home or wherever, everybody needs to be motivated. As such, employ the motivation tactic, and you’ll never go wrong.
Whenever your mentee achieves something, congratulate, compliment and or reward them, that way, they’ll work with more zeal towards achieving their goals. Similarly, when they fail to meet your expectations, encourage them to work with more determination and remind them that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to do.
Most people believe that criticism can only be negative. Well, that’s not correct.
During the mentorship process, a mentor should be able to tell how temperamental their client can get. Doing this will help them understand how to critic their mentees in a manner that doesn’t portray negativity.
In case of any negativities in criticism, a mentor should be able to find the right words that can help their client’s learn and rise above those negativities.
To become a better mentor, you should know that everyone is from a different cloth, and as such, just as people are different, so is their understanding capacity.
If you come across a mentee whose understanding capability is low, be patient and mentor them at their pace. Hold the hand of such a client every step of the way and don’t make them feel any less. Always make sure to put your emotions in check and learn to be more patient with slow learners.
Be Generous With Information
What does this mean? Any information that you feel could be of help to your mentee share it. And just as they say, sharing is caring. For a mentor to be termed as good, they should have it in them to share every bit of information that they feel could help their mentees attain their goals.
Becoming a better mentor also involves sharing your experiences, skills, networks, and anything that can help change or improve your mentee’s life.
Just like in any other profession, mentoring too has its rules and regulations. Therefore, before the commencement of any mentorship program, the mentor should always set rules and boundaries.
By making your work ethics known to your mentee, you avoid misunderstandings and respect for one another prevails throughout the mentorship process. Professionalism is also a sure way that both parties will end up achieving their goals.
In cases where the mentor and the mentee are acquaintances, strictly uphold professionalism for the sake of meeting all set expectations.
What this means is that even long after the mentorship program is over, a good mentor will want to find out how their former mentee is doing. They will want to find out if the program was helpful and whether the lessons learned from it still apply to their daily lives.
Following up shows that you actually cared for your mentee’s success and not just the benefits you were getting from mentoring them. From doing follow-ups, friendships can also be born, and this could lead to significant and greater things in the future.
Like a good mentor, it’s critical to understand that each mentee is different and thus the difference in the mentorship process. Tailor each program to best suit each mentee. For you to become a successful mentor, there are specific qualities that you should possess.
If you want to be a great mentor, always work on improving your skills by taking short courses, attending mentorship summits, researching, learning from other mentors and so on. As a mentor, you can also have a mentor, and this can sharpen your skills even more. Finally, go out there, be the best you can ever be and change someone’s life.