Many people feel that being a mentor requires special skills or extra time. You may be thinking, “what could I possibly have to teach someone?” Or, “why would anyone want advice from me?” But really, mentors are really just people with the qualities of good role models.
What are some of the characteristics? Here’s our list:
- Listen– Maintain eye contact and give your mentees your full attention.
- Guide– You are there to help your mentees find their direction in the crew, not to push them.
- Be practical– Give insights about keeping on task and setting goals and priorities.
- Educate – Educate your mentee about the industry standards of practice, company culture and their own career path.
- Provide insight– Use your personal experience to help your mentee avoid mistakes and learn from good decisions.
- Be accessible– Be available as a resource and a sounding board.
- Criticize constructively– When necessary, point out areas that need improvement; always focus on the mentee’s behavior, never his/her character.
- Be supportive– No matter how frustrated the mentee’s experience seems to be to him/her, continue to encourage them to learn and improve.
- Be specific– Give specific advice on what was done well or could be corrected, what was achieved and the benefits of various actions.
- Mentors care– Mentors care about their mentees’ progress on the job.
- Encourage success– Mentors not only are successful themselves, but they also foster success in others.
- Be respected– Strive to be well respected in your company and in the general community.
Do you find that you are the “go-to” guy when co-workers are unsure what to do? Do you want to take on more of a leadership role and be considered a good mentor to your crew? Or maybe you already fill this role? Maybe you want to be more proactive and take it up a notch. If so, then take a few extra minutes and think about the qualities listed here when dealing with your colleagues. You and your crew can only benefit.
Do you have suggestions on how to be a good mentor? Leave them in the comments below!
Are you interested in becoming a mentor? Or are you looking for a mentor? Take advantage of TCIA’s newly revamped Business Mentor Program. Potential mentors can fill out a short online form describing their areas of expertise, while prospective mentees fill out a similar online form indicating topics they are interested in exploring with a mentor. TCIA will facilitate the program, matching mentors with mentees. Topics include business development, sales and marketing, human resources, finance and more. Learn more here.