People often sign up to be mentors for business, but they may not know what it entails. Mentoring is more than just giving someone advice about their profession; it’s also a way to build a professional relationship and help them improve themselves.
Mentoring can be a great way to make yourself known in your industry. So, without further ado, here is a list of mentoring techniques to help you make the most out of your mentoring experiences.
Know What They Want to Do
Before you start a mentoring session, it’s a good idea to ask them what they want from their mentor. People normally won’t come right out and say it, but if you push them further, they will probably tell you. If they don’t, ask about their career and what they would like to do with it.
Start by Listening More Than You Talk
When you think about it, this is a no-brainer. That’s not to say there isn’t any place for speaking up, but you shouldn’t be the only one doing so. People come to mentors to find out what they should do with their life, so let them talk and ask questions when necessary.
Offer Guidance, Not Answers
The best mentors give guidance to someone else, instead of giving them the answers. This way, they can learn and grow as a person instead of just receiving information from their mentor.
Help Them Find Their Own Solutions
Similar to the point above, you aren’t their human search engine. It can be tempting to give them a simple answer or tell them what they should do in a certain situation, but that doesn’t help them learn anything. Instead, guide them towards finding a solution on their own and let it be something they will remember in the future.
Be Honest About Your Own Experiences
This is why you were chosen as their mentor; people think you can help them understand what it’s like in their position. That being said, you shouldn’t give false information about how easy it is to be in their shoes. If you say something that makes it seem like things are easier than they actually are, the person will discover the truth sooner than later and lose trust in you.
Encourage Them to Take Risks
Success rarely comes from staying in one place. Make sure they are always thinking about what is next, not just trying to get by. While they are taking risks, make sure you are helping them without getting too involved.
Celebrate Their Successes – and Learn from Their Failures
Mentoring is a two-way street; not just about what you can get from it. It’s important to recognize the progress someone has made and how they achieved it, even if they fail at something new. You can’t learn anything if you don’t make mistakes either, so take note of where they went wrong and what could be done differently next time.
Don’t Be Too Critical or Judgmental
If you really think what they’re doing is a bad idea and it will get them into trouble, then, of course, you should say something. But if they just did something slightly embarrassing and need to be reassured that it’s fine, then don’t tell them otherwise. You don’t want them to lose their confidence or begin second-guessing every decision they make.
Don’t Let Your Personal Life Affect Your Mentoring
This is the most important tip you can follow as a mentor; don’t let your personal life affect what you are trying to accomplish with them. If something goes wrong in your life, it can really make mentoring difficult because you won’t be able to focus on the task at hand.
Be Patient – It Takes Time to Become a Good Mentor
No matter how good you are, or think you are, it will take time for your mentee to learn what they need to know. Don’t get frustrated when they are making mistakes because that won’t help anything. If you can show them patience and understanding, the chances of success go up exponentially.
In are in a position of power, so it’s important not to take advantage of that. They might open up to you, but they still have their own lives and shouldn’t be treated like your child.
Don’t Forget About Them When They Leave
This is one of the worst things a mentor could do; stop checking in with their mentee once they have moved on to something new. If you feel like this is going to happen, then don’t take the job in the first place because that would be a waste of everyone’s time.
Mentoring is about guiding someone in the right direction and helping them to become better. If you can follow these tips, you’ll be much more prepared for what’s ahead of you. Good luck!