Mentors help their mentees to learn and gain skills with reassurance and guidance along the way. But it’s one thing to learn from a mentor, and it’s another to teach as a mentor. Being the mentor to an employee can seem like a daunting task. Here are some things to focus on to be successful in your role as a mentor:
Work Towards the Mentee’s Goals
When you start mentoring someone, it’s a good idea to begin with a goal in mind. Ask your mentee what they want to get out of the mentoring relationship and turn that into a goal. With this goal in mind, you can ensure that you and your mentee are working towards the same thing. Also, setting a goal will allow you to see the positive impact your efforts are having on the mentee.
Giving instruction is definitely part of the mentoring process, but it isn’t everything. Part of mentoring is giving helpful feedback so your mentee can learn from mistakes and progress faster. This involves giving both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback is important to assure your mentee and give them motivation to continue to try hard things. Negative feedback is important to instruct your mentee on how to improve and to correct mistakes before they become detrimental.
Be an Example
One of the best ways to learn is through example. While mentoring someone, make sure that your daily actions reflect what you’re trying to teach. As you make decisions and deal with challenging problems, walk your mentee through the process with you and show them multiple ways of solving problems. If you make a mistake while trying to be a good example, you have the perfect opportunity to teach your mentee concepts like accountability and humility.
Being a mentor can have a positive impact for you and your mentee. If you’re trying to create a mentoring program, download out our free Mentoring Program Toolkit below.