As employees progress throughout their career, most will strive to develop themselves professionally to expand upon their skill sets and align their responsibilities to what they’ve come to love doing. One way this is done is by becoming a mentor to newer team members seeking guidance as they enter their new positions. This presents an opportunity to build team rapport and share years worth of valuable experience.
Mentorship can be considered one of the most valuable ways to invest in your company as a seasoned employee. By putting some of your energy towards the betterment of your team and other employees, you ensure that your company has experienced professionals that are knowledgeable about their industry and profession. It’s also important to mention that taking on this role builds leadership and communication skills, which are vital in the workplace.
If you’re thinking about becoming a mentor, learn how to be one that is able to make a difference. Use the following tips to help the progression of not only your career but other coworkers as well.
To be a mentor, you not only need to have quality characteristics, but be able to demonstrate them as well. Here are a few mentorship tips along with ways you can lead by example for others you’re advising.
1. Ask About Career Goals
The true purpose of mentorship is to have an experienced professional guiding a mentee towards their career goals, which can seem intimidating. Mentors can develop a plan for conquering these by first simply asking the mentee what they are. From there, brainstorm ways you can utilize your past experience to make achieving those goes a little easier for them.
2. Adapt Your Mentoring Style
After you’ve taken the time to understand the mentee’s goals, it’s important to identify the mentoring style that works best for them. Are they more interested in rapidly accelerating their growth? Prioritize exposing them to various projects and responsibilities. If they seem to be pretty good at what they do, then try a more hands off method, demonstrating your trust in their capabilities.
3. Acknowledge Your Own Mistakes
Some mentors approach their role with a chip on their shoulder as a more senior member of the team who can accomplish anything thrown their way. Having this mindset will strain communication and lead to the mentee feeling uncomfortable. Highlight the mistakes you’ve made in the past to show that we all come from somewhere. Emphasize that most things can’t be learned in a day, and that we use our mistakes to grow and develop.
4. Be available for Your Mentees
A good mentor will make sure to be available for their mentee when needed, being there to support in any way possible. Since time is valuable, make sure every meeting or phone call is productive and that they are able to leave feeling more confident in their abilities.
5. Set Clear Expectations
As the mentor, it’s important to outline your expectations and set boundaries early on. If you want your communication to be strictly professional, let that be known. You should also give the mentee time to set their own expectations and boundaries for your relationship to make them feel more comfortable.
Becoming a mentor is incredibly fulfilling. You get to witness your mentees prosper and grow into the professionals they were meant to become. Regardless of whether you help them climb the corporate ladder or help them realign their growth path, you have a lot to offer. Use these tips to become the mentor that makes an impact on those they’re guiding.