Mentoring can play a pivotal role in helping a young person or colleague adapt to a new role and develop skills to be successful. Mentors are in the position of serving as teachers, but their responsibilities don’t end there.
Read on to learn 4 tips and strategies for effective mentoring!
1. Invest Time in Knowing Who Your Mentee Is
When you start working with a mentee, take time to get to know them. While you don’t want to be overly invasive, you do want to show sincere interest in who they are. Practice active listening so your mentee knows that you are paying attention.
You can build trust by listening to your mentee. And you can identify challenges and concerns that you can work to address in future meetings. When possible, share your personal experiences or struggles so your mentee feels less alone.
2. Establish Goals and Parameters
To get the most out of a mentor-mentee relationship, it is wise to establish some ground rules and benchmarks for success. For instance, determine how long each meeting will be and how frequently you will meet.
In addition, ask your mentee what they hope to gain from the experience. Take note of their goals so you can adapt your plans to suit them. Your mentee may aspire to study a particular field in college or get a specific job. On the other hand, they might lack clear-cut goals, and you could be the one to help them define them.
3. Always Ask Questions When Mentoring
Make a point of asking questions when you meet with your mentee. This can help them become more comfortable opening up, and it can help you understand more about their needs, obstacles, and concerns. It always is better to ask your mentee than it is to make assumptions.
At OhanaHC, we provide training for mentors so everyone feels confident. From pinpointing the right questions to knowing when to steer a conversation toward a new topic, mentors learn the best practices for serving in their roles.
4. Focus on the Future
In the long run, your mentee may not need your expertise forever. That’s why part of your efforts should be aimed at helping your mentee secure the resources they will need down the road. Look toward the future with them and nudge them toward what they will need to grow.
Remember that your connection with a mentee should be beneficial to both parties, too. As such, you may reach a point where you need to step down from your role. Doing this is not a sign of weakness, but rather it is a healthy sign of awareness that your mentee is ready for new perspectives.
At OhanaHC, we focus on helping our mentors do the best they can to help shape a better future for their mentees. Interested in learning how you could be a mentor? Fill out the contact form on our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can tell you more!