Mentoring helps you build and develop your ability to encourage and motivate others. This will go a long way toward helping you become a better team member and manager.
Being able to help others learn and grow in their careers is necessary for advancement in today’s business world. We operate a two-way rating system, for both our mentors and mentees. This means that mentees will assess their mentors’ experience, knowledge and leadership skills just as much as mentors will assess their mentees’ learning skills. And it’s not unusual for our mentors to receive attractive offers from our partner employers.
Most of our mentees are fresh graduates from Master’s and Ph.D. programs. This is an advantage for mentors, as they can refresh their academic knowledge.
To be a good mentor, you must be a good advisor and coach, as well as have the relevant experience to enhance your mentee’s situation. This can be management experience, technical experience or just ordinary life experience.
Mentors must be able and willing to help others succeed, remain positive throughout and take pride in their mentee’s achievements and success.
Your own development never stops. You must value your own growth so that you can help others develop. Many mentors say that mentoring others helps them with their own personal growth and development.
We don't mean you should be overconfident or have a big ego. Rather, you should have the ability to critique and challenge mentees in a non-threatening manner – one that keeps them motivated.
You must be able to listen attentively and process everything the mentee is saying. You can do this by maintaining eye contact, watching body language, and understanding the topics that are difficult for your mentee to discuss. Letting someone know you’re listening is a valuable skill in itself. It shows the person that you value whatever they are saying and that you won’t be quick to pass judgment.
Providing feedback is very important. However, you must do this in a way that objectively summarizes what you’ve heard and that interprets things in a manner that adds value for the mentee. This shows that you understand your mentee’s thinking and approach.
One virtue any good mentor should have is patience. On occasion, your mentee may need more time to adapt to your mentoring style to grasp what you’re teaching him or her. This will require patience on your part as their mentor.
Establish regular meetings with your mentee and lead by example. Even though the mentoring conversation may be informal, treat the overall meeting with the formality and professionalism it deserves.
The purpose of any mentoring session is to exchange views with and guide the mentee, not to provide immediate solutions to issues. A simple answer to a problem is not as valuable as teaching your mentee how to solve the same problem in the future. Your goal should be to make sure your mentee understands and can apply what he or she has learned.
If you want a productive mentoring relationship, you’ll need to establish rules for the mentoring arrangement that spell out the anticipated results. These could be performance goals for the mentee to pursue outside his or her regular appraisal structure or a set of points that will be covered during the mentoring program.