The job of a mentor is quite serious. It is meant to have an impact on somebody else’s life. Therefore, it better be a good impact.
If we took a minute to think about the best mentor we have ever had, we would remember some important pieces of advice, attitudes, situations and all sorts of events that would help us identify why our mentor had such a positive impact in our lives.
On the mentor’s side, having a positive impact on mentees can be quite challenging. Not because intentions are not nice. But, because becoming the example to follow or the advice-giver of someone who is trusting you its career, is rather difficult and represents a big responsibility.
There are many different types of mentors. All of them may vary according to the type of business they work with, or the type of mentee they will guide. It can even be said that mentors come in every possible “shape and flavor”. They can come in the shape of a dear professor, a friend, family member, a parent, or a coach.
Regardless the type of mentor that you want to become or already are, there are some basic tips that you should keep in mind in order to have a positive impact on your mentees. Here, Suzzanne Uhland will share some of these tips.
1 – You need to know what it means to be a mentor
If you are in the business world or are a lawyer and you are good at what you do, you will inevitably become a mentor. This is something that most people can’t escape of and it is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and legacy.
However, before you become a mentor you need to actually know what that means. It is not about improvising and acting according to your needs. It is actually about knowing your mentee and establishing a relationship with that person.
Being a good mentor requires you to develop communication skills as well as a working style. Nevertheless, if you really want to have a positive impact on your mentee, you need to gain their trust as their advisor.
Being a trusted advisor can mean several different things. All these things are summarized in making yourself available for your mentee whenever it needs advice and support. Giving your mentee support is what actually defines your role as a mentor.
Acknowledging your role as a mentor and knowing how to support your mentee in order to provide it with great advice and support, will help your mentee keep a great mindset. This will represent the greatest impact overall.
2 – Measure time
A mentor and mentee relationship should not last forever. It will need to last for as long as the mentee feels ready to face the challenges of the market. In terms of time, this cannot be defined properly.
The relationship between a mentor and a mentee can be as short as one single meeting around a cup of coffee or as long as several years of preparation. It is important to keep in mind that when this kind of relationships extend in time and become long term, the mentor has the obligation of actually knowing its mentee.
The longer the mentoring process is, the more important it becomes for the mentor to know and understand the goals, personality, and learning style of its mentee. Long-term relationships regarding this matter are more fulfilling when both parties have an enriching attitude towards the other.
3 – Define your mentorship plan and expectations
Not all mentors are equal, and not all mentee will react in the same way to the same things. Having said that, if the mentor wants to have an amazing impact on its mentee, it should prepare a mentorship plan.
This plan must be based on the expectations that both parties share from the beginning. Expectations work as goals and clarify what both parties want and don’t want since the moment they start their relationship
Understanding these expectations will help you understand where your mentee is coming from when asking something from you, and vice versa.
4 – Work on your emotional intelligence
Being a mentor can be emotionally challenging. There might be situations in which you want to give up, react poorly, and stop your job right there. This is why emotional intelligence plays such an important role in the job of any mentor.
By becoming a mentor, you will get the chance to know they very special personality of your mentee. You will have to deal with its needs and the previous experiences that have shaped your mentees personality. Knowing all this and using this information in the best interest of yourself and the mentee will make a huge difference.
Keeping all these tips in mind will help become a good mentor and have a positive impact on your mentee.
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