If you have experienced any success in business, you likely had someone mentoring or guiding you along the way. Even if they were just a role model or an inspiration, they helped you during your career in some way. Once you have some accomplishments under your belt, it is important to try to mentor someone else. You won’t just be helping someone else establish their career. Mentoring someone is a great way to sharpen your skills and become a better professional. Here are some tips to become a great mentor in business.
Work together to set expectations
When you take on the role of a mentor, it can be easy to jump in with your own expectations. However, it is important to spend time establishing expectations together. Learn what your mentee wants to accomplish in their career and set achievable goals for them to get there. Remember that it is okay for expectations to change over time. Your mentee may receive unexpected opportunities or take a different path than you did. If this happens, you can still be a valuable resource for them if you set clear expectations.
Don’t jump in with advice all the time
A great mentor knows when to offer advice and when to listen. It can be tempting to offer advice any time your mentee encounters a challenge. You may have been in a similar situation in your own career, and you want to help them through it. Sometimes, it is best to just listen as your mentee works out a problem. This is a great chance for them to learn and stand on their own. Of course, you’ll be there to cheer them on or help them up if they fall.
You won’t do your mentee any favors if you lie to them or sugarcoat the truth. It is important to offer clear and honest feedback. The only way your mentee will improve in their career and professional skills is if you provide constructive criticism. Honest feedback is a crucial element to any mentoring relationship. You will likely have to practice giving this type of feedback because it can feel uncomfortable at first.
Inspire your mentee
Not every day of a career is a good day. We all face challenges and difficulties that make us question our choice of career path. In these moments, you can be a valuable asset to your mentee. Encourage them, inspire them, and motivate them through the hard times. Help them remember their goals, so they stay on track.
Make time for your mentee
The best mentoring relationships are the ones that involve mutual trust and respect. Your mentee should be able to reach you if they need advice or want to share an accomplishment. Schedule regular check-in meetings with your mentee and stay involved in their career. This will help you monitor their progress and growth over time. If you neglect to check in with your mentee on a consistent basis, you might miss valuable teaching opportunities.
Once you start mentoring and training the next generation in your industry, you likely won’t want to stop. Mentoring someone is a rewarding experience where you learn as much as you teach. You can take pride in watching your mentee succeed as they progress in their career. By mentoring others, there is no limit to the impact you can have. A great mentor will inspire their mentees to return the favor someday and mentor someone else.