To be a mentor is to be a support system, a sounding board, a champion, and a realist. As a mentor, you will support someone just starting out in their career as they gain experience and learn and grow. Your advice and suggestions will help them make well-reasoned decisions and your motivation will help keep them going. Are you considering becoming a mentor? Consider these tips for success.
Ensure you are prepared to commit a certain amount of time each month to your mentee and be honest with them about your availability. A call once a week, a few emails, maybe a coffee once a month. Be realistic and establish expectations with your mentee so that they have a clear idea of how much of your time they can expect to have. Consider booking a regular day and time each week or month to engage with your mentee.
Discuss with your mentee what they are seeking and what you can reasonably deliver. Mentors can provide opportunities to attend special meetings or events, connections with high profile contacts, coaching, advice and more. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what your mentee may ask from you and what you’d be willing to offer.
Discuss with your mentee where they see themselves in 1, 5 or 10 years and how you can assist them in reaching those goals. Consider what your role as mentor could be in assisting your mentee and your long-term commitment to their success. Help your mentee map out their plan for success and motivate them to reach milestones.
A mentor can play a critical role in the development of future leaders and is a worthwhile experience for both the mentor and mentee. Supporting the professional development of others teaches emotional intelligence, leadership, and empathy.
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