Anyone can be a mentor at any time.
Here are some tips for how to engage and be effective:
1. Break the ice and build rapport:
The mentoring relationships that also have a good personal connection invite trust and openness.
2. Set expectations and ground rules:
You’re not a buddy nor a manager. What your mentee can expect from you is knowledge, guidance, perspective, and network in a professional yet friendly atmosphere.
In a mentee’s moment of difficulty, you listen, understand, provide and explore alternatives.
3. Talk about mentee’s needs and goals:
Feel free to further understand and dig deep into the mentees needs and goals.
4. Set a contact schedule:
A meeting once every 2 weeks or a quick check every week on the mentee’s progress and speed bumps will be helpful.
5. Listen, Ask, Offer, Advise:
When your mentee comes to you with an issue or question. It may be tempting to give the answer right away. However, this practice may leave questions in mentee’s mind about alternate routes.
Consider carefully listening and understanding the situation. Then make the mentee think by asking questions. Now is a good time to give the options or several ideas as to what they can do. The mentee can choose a route and can talk to you about it. At this point feel free to express what you’d do if you were in their shoes, and why.
Remember though, as a mentor, you should leave the choice to the mentee. You’ve provided options, discussed alternatives, expressed what you’d do and why. The choice is up to the mentee.
6. Be accountable to each other:
Since you’ve been involved with the mentee’s goals, as a result of your meetings and discussions you can assign action items for progress. Having devoted your time and effort, you can expect results from your mentee by completing the action items you set.
7. Open doors
You have connections that your mentee can benefit from. Open them new doors by making these intros.
8. Learn from your mentee
This is an opportunity to be reminded of the fundamentals and relate to how you began your journey and be thankful. Also, understand the latest technology and social media from your mentee.
Tips & Roles:
In this mentoring relationship, your role includes:
1. Listening before making a judgment
2. Understanding their situation
3. Challenging them by asking questions
4. Providing alternatives, ideas, perspectives
5. Together, evaluating and foreshadowing each case
6. Telling the mentee what you would do and why
Your role as a mentor is not telling a mentee what to do, but give them the opportunity to choose wisely.
1. Take the person out of the equation and focus on the character/behavior so that the person doesn’t get defensive.
“You’re the cause of this failure” → “Timeliness is costing you your success”
2. Try to use positive words.
“This work is terrible” → “This wasn’t your best work”
3. Ask the mentee what they thought of their behavior/approach. They might already be aware of what went wrong.
“How do you think you would’ve handled that situation better”
4. Feel free to give your opinion then explain why instead of telling them what to do. It is up to them to choose.
“You shouldn’t hand in work” → “If I were you, I personally wouldn’t hand over a work like this because…”
5. Explain the impact.
“This action can lead to a few outcomes. First,…”
6. Use the “Pause”
After challenging, stating your position on the situation or asking a question, pause and wait for the reaction of the mentee. You can use this technique to make the mentee elaborate further.
7. Explain why you’re giving this feedback.
“It would be easier for me to not talk about this but I want what’s best for you and need to bring this to your attention. What you do with this piece of advice is up to you.”
8. Provide steps to improve.
“If I were you I would take these steps to overcome this problem.”
“I would do this, this and this to complete this task”