To be a mentor is to be an experienced and trusted advisor. Mentorship is a rising career choice in this day and age. But in a time when essentially anyone can become a mentor, do you know what sets you apart from the rest? An ideal mentor provides a unique and life-changing experience for their mentees, but what guarantees that you can deliver such an impactful promise each time?
Sharing your unique perspective and expertise will set you and your mentees apart for a successful career. However, some specific skill sets can make or break your mentee’s lasting success. Today, we connect with Thinkubator Media’s founder, Lori Lennon, and fellow communications guru, Dr. Tana Jospeh, for their insight on being the best mentor.
Understand Your Role as a Mentor
A great mentor is like a knowledgeable and kind guide. It’s not your job to take on your mentee’s entire workload to reach their goals. It can also be counterproductive to leave your mentee to completely fend for themself as they navigate their challenges.
Striking a harmonious and interdependent relationship can determine how well your mentorship goes. Your mentees should know that they can reach out to you whenever they need to, but they should also have the confidence to produce successful results. As a mentor, you support your mentee’s action plan and brainstorm new ideas and improvements to maintain their success.
Know Yourself, Know Your Mentee
Although it would be great to help everyone who comes our way, sometimes the best help we can offer is redirection. By having those initial conversations with your mentees, you can readily assess your compatibility with one another. Determine and set your own boundaries while considering the values and guidelines set by your mentees as well.
In some instances, you can work through any perceived conflicts or disagreements with respect and understanding. But in the case when you and your mentee just can’t see eye to eye, it would be best to amicably bring your services to a close. Then you’ll both have more bandwidth to connect with people who are on the same page for more productive outcomes.
Determine Your Boundaries and Standards
This is similar to creating your niche. Will you be helping mentees with startups or who are already a few years into their ventures? Do you help with marketing, financial management, or several aspects of business?
Your boundaries will also include behaviors and dynamics that you will or will not tolerate. If a mentee yells at you during a meeting, is that the end of your relationship? If you’re a year into a mentorship role and your mentee is still struggling to produce their desired results, is it time to reevaluate your connection or the strategies you’ve tried?
By determining your boundaries and standards as a mentor, you will save yourself and potential mentees a lot of time by laying the foundation for the dynamics that encourage shared success.
Understand the Framework for Your Mentee
Identify your mentee’s needs with regular conversations and updates around their goals and strategies. Each mentee will likely require a unique framework to meet their goals. As you sit back and watch your mentee excel, you will be able to determine when your mentee has received the full benefit of your mentorship. It can be helpful to go into the mentorship dynamic and determine an appropriate timeframe with each mentee based on their individual needs. This can also change based on how often you meet, how strong the mentee’s work ethic is, and other personal factors.
Being a great mentor starts with the expertise you offer and the standards you set for building relationships with your mentees. As you define the ideal framework for your mentorship services to thrive, you extend this success to your mentees as they pursue and achieve their dreams under your guidance.
If you still need support with establishing a successful mentorship practice, Lori and Dr. Joseph will be launching a mentorship workshop to guide mentors in bettering their services. Stay tuned for details regarding this up-and-coming feature from the Thinkubator Media team.