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  • How to Be a Good Mentor

    While having a mentor can do wonders to your career, being one can also be a valuable experience. Think about the best mentor you’ve ever had. It could be your old manager, parent, coach, or even your friend. What made them unique is how they were able to instil lessons that make you happier and more effective in life, not just at work.

    Being a mentor is essentially transferring knowledge to your organization’s next generation. You’ll be able to provide an individual or a group of people with the proper direction that can help them make better decisions in the long run.

    When you reach a point where you have a chance to pass this experience on to someone else, it can be both exciting and a little confusing. You can use plenty of things to help you connect better with your mentee. Here are some tips that can help you out during this journey:

     

    Ask the Right Questions

    Whether you realize it or not, biases can affect your judgement. While you can work to dismantle them, they are so ingrained that they can peek out sometimes. To ensure that it doesn’t happen, break through assumptions by asking the right questions.

    This is particularly important if the person under your wing is in the early parts of their career. They’ll surely not know most of the things at work. And as a senior, you’ll find this frustrating at times. But it’s best to be patient and understand.

    When you try to dig deeper by asking questions, you’re looking to clear things up. You’ll be able to understand where they’re having trouble, so you’ll be able to help them better.

     

    Practice Empathy

    Empathy is one of the most vital traits of a good mentor. You need to understand what your protégé feels to know the best approach to guiding them. You might think that this can’t be taught, but with a bit of practice, you can achieve higher levels of empathy.

    This will require a bit of effort from your side. Sometimes, the best way to do it is just by listening. This doesn’t mean you should stop providing instructions; instead, be conscious when your mentee has something to say. Listen with compassion and try to understand your mentee’s point of view.

     

    Become a Role Model

    Your protégé can learn more by simply observing and learning from your actions and words. They can pick up how you conduct yourself and interact with others or with a specific task you’re handling. If you’re having a hard time with a project, they’ll see how you react to the challenges. If you’re negatively impacted by something to the point that it shows in your behavior, you’ll let them see that these things are acceptable.

    Set your mentee on the right path by showing them that there are multiple ways to handle difficult situations effectively. Talk them through your process and help them understand that they always have the choice of how they would react to a particular problem.

     

    Celebrate Achievements

    Because people usually call mentors for help through situations, conversations often revolve around stressful things. When work is always high-strung, this can negatively affect motivation. Nobody wants this to happen, of course. So, make sure to keep things light from time to time by providing enough encouragement.

    One great way to do this is by celebrating your protégé’s achievements, no matter how small they are. It might not be obvious, but this can help them build up their confidence while strengthening the bond between you.

    If you’re wondering how to do this, consider asking them about what their love language is. For example, contemplate sending them a gift as a token of appreciation. Meanwhile, if they value words of affirmation more, that’s the way to go.

    Being a mentor is all about making yourself available to support someone whenever they need it, even if they don’t know. You should be able to deliver this support in the best way to make sense to them. Get to learn more about your mentee by making genuine connections so that you can provide tailored resources for them.

     

    Visit the homepage to read about my past experiences as a mentor. You might learn a thing or two to help with your mentoring goals.