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  • What Skills Does a Mentor Need?

    In 2021, employee retention became an emerging issue for companies. As a result, organizations started looking into ways to create a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction for their people to reduce employee turnover.

    Mentoring has proven to encourage engagement and retain and develop employees. Eighty-four percent of U.S. Fortune 500 companies have invested their resources into mentoring. The purpose of mentoring is to create a partnership between an individual who has more knowledge and experience and someone who still has quite a lot to learn.

    What does it take for one to be called an effective mentor? Continue reading to discover what skills a mentor needs to successfully guide the person under their wing.

    What is a Mentor?

    Before knowing how to be a great mentor, you must first understand what a mentor is.

    A mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. Mentors offer support and advice to their mentees to better navigate their careers, business, or studies. A mentor is responsible for working closely with their mentee and playing an active and hands-on role in their growth.

    How Can You Benefit from Being a Mentor?

    Do you recall when you started out clueless and scared but full of ambition? Whether you’re working in a company or putting up a business for the first time, you’ve probably wished for guidance and support from someone who has already gone through a similar experience. Imagine if you could have been that person for your younger self.

    New Purpose

    Through mentoring, life feels more meaningful. Being able to impart wisdom to others is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. You get to be part of something bigger than yourself and take pride in helping someone become successful.

    Evolve and Adapt

    Mentoring is also a mutually beneficial relationship. Learning never stops, even for a professional like you who has been in the industry for years. Mentoring someone allows you to look at the world from different perspectives. There may be new ways of doing things that you can also apply to yourself.

    Skills a Mentor Needs

    Relevant Expertise and Background

    It may seem common sense, but your knowledge and experience should be relevant to your mentee’s line of work. After all, what’s the point of teaching something that the other person won’t find helpful? Ideally, you should be a few levels or titles ahead of your mentee. You may also have worked in the same industry and can provide tips on dealing with problems and scenarios that could arise.

    Empathy

    Behind every eager mentee is a unique person with feelings and emotions. Knowing how to empathize with your mentee helps you gain insight into their learning style and personality. With that information, you can choose appropriate mentorship methods and create realistic steps and milestones. Empathy can also help establish trust and rapport.

    Active Listening

    Show your genuine interest in your mentee’s ideas and concerns by being fully attentive to them when they’re speaking. Active listening involves focusing your attention on the other person during conversations, making time for them, and being discerning of nonverbal cues.

    The Ability to Give Constructive Feedback

    A good mentor doesn’t sugarcoat things and gives only words of praise. To allow room for growth, the mentor should know how to deliver constructive feedback in a kind and direct manner. They must not hesitate to be honest and point out mistakes or shortcomings.

    Leadership

    Although a mentor should be compassionate, empathetic, and respectful, the mentor-mentee relationship cannot propel forward without clear boundaries and respect for seniority. Leadership skills help establish your authority and role as a mentor and allow you to guide the mentee on the right path toward their goals.

    Consistency and Accountability

    The mentor-mentee relationship is also a journey. You must both stick to your commitments and schedules to maintain your trajectory. Staying consistent with your weekly or monthly sessions, emails, or other forms of communication holds both of you accountable for your responsibilities.

    Develop Valuable Mentoring Skills

    A mentor must have these qualities for a good reason. Mentoring isn’t merely for self-gratification; it’s about preparing future generations of brilliant individuals who will eventually take over and share their wisdom with those younger and less experienced than them. Mentoring is a beautiful tradition that should be highly encouraged to foster personal and career development and improve the workplace.

    I was fortunate enough to support the youth in starting their new business ventures. Volunteering for The Prince’s Trust as a mentor has allowed me to practice critical mentoring skills.

    Learn more about my experience and how mentoring has added value to my life; contact me at [email protected] or visit my homepage.