What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of professional development? It may be a long awaited raise or well deserved promotion. Both of those things are great, but for some, that fulfilled feeling comes from mentoring other professionals within their field to pass on the knowledge they gained throughout their time.
Similar to investing in your income, mentoring allows you to invest your time and energy into the progression of your peers’ career so they can achieve their professional and personal goals. If you’re thinking about taking on a mentee for the first time, continue for helpful tips that will allow you to be a mentor that makes a genuine impact.
Ways To Be a Good Mentor at Work
1. Ask About Career Goals
The true purpose of mentorship is to have an experienced professional offer guidance to mentees trying to accomplish the personal and career goals they’ve made for themselves. These should be the top priority of the mentor, and the best way to find these out is by simply asking. By directly asking your mentee what they’re trying to accomplish, you can build a more robust mentoring strategy that will make your relationship more impactful.
Try getting insight into what they want to improve upon, who they are interested in connecting with, and their preferences regarding feedback and communication style. With these answers, you’ll know how to better support their professional journey.
2. ADAPT YOUR MENTORING STYLE
After you’re able to learn about their specific needs, goals, and preferences, it is essential to create a mentoring style aligned with who they are as individuals. If they’re more interested in climbing the corporate ladder and accelerating their career, expose them to different projects that will take them out of their comfort zone. If they’re more seasoned professionals with prior experience, try giving them some room for independence to show them you trust their work and judgement.
3. SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS
Clear expectations are necessary for a mentor relationship to be healthy and successful. As the mentor, it’s your responsibility to set these boundaries early on to keep a consistent tone throughout the relationship. It’s also helpful to allow the mentee to express their boundaries and expectations for the relationship as well.
4. GIVE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM WITH KINDNESS
As the mentor, you’ll be expected to give feedback on the work your mentee is completing. Be honest, but also constructive and compassionate when sharing feedback. You have to be truthful for their to be progress, but providing actionable critiques with kindness will make the mentee more receptive to your suggestions.
5. BE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR MENTEE
A good mentor knows how to be available when they’re needed and how to prioritize the relationship over less important tasks. The time you have to mentor is valuable, so it’s important to take every opportunity to share the knowledge you’ve gained while you can. To see growth, dedicate a certain amount of time every week to the development of your mentee.
A good mentorship can be fulfilling for both parties of the relationship. The mentee can leave with invaluable insight into how they can achieve their goals and the mentor can feel valued as a professional after dedicating years of their life to your profession. Use these tips provided to make sure that you’re able to be a mentor that can make a positive impact on the lives of your mentees.
About the Author: Tristian Brown is a content creator who develops helpful and compelling stories. His passion for digital marketing and creative writing has led him to cover unique topics ranging from business to lifestyle. He calls San Diego, CA home and enjoys traveling and exercising in his spare time.