Helping your Mentee Trust Their Own Judgment
"Being a sounding board for your mentee, allowing them to discuss the situation with you, then helping them to think through the situation by asking them questions to draw out the consequences of various actions, is always more empowering for a mentee than advising them what to do. It helps them work through the issue and come to their own conclusions. By doing so, you ultimately help them to learn to think through issues themselves and trust their own judgment, both valuable life skills."
-From "10 Ways to be a Good Mentor" by Blue Sky Coaching.
Read the full PDF version here: https://www.blueskycoaching.com.au/pdf/v4i10_mentor.pdf
Communicating through Barriers
Communication can be difficult. The next time you find yourself in a communication bind, remember that everyone views the world through different eyes. What may be very clear to you could be out of focus for other individuals.
Keep it Professional!
As a mentor, it's a good idea to maintain a professional image for your mentee. Especially in workplace based mentoring relationships, a mentee will often view the mentor as a blueprint for achieving sucess. Mentors can use their own professional accomplishments and career to help guide their protégé towards acheiving their goals.
Don't Overdo Feedback!
One of the main functions of a mentor is to provide feedback to his or her protégé. However, mentors should be careful not to provide too many pieces of criticism at once. Giving too much feedback can overwhelm the mentee, and dilute the importance of each point. When considering feedback, mentors need to value quality over quantity!
On Giving Criticism
As a mentor, when giving criticism to your mentee, focus on the behavior and not the individual. Your mentee will feel less of a need to be defensive, and it should result in a smoother feedback process.
Help Your Mentee Suggest Activities
While some protégés love suggesting potential activities for their mentoring sessions, others often either lack ideas or are simply unsure of what exactly a mentoring activity is. As a mentor, give your mentee a range of activities to choose from, and allow them to pick from the list.
It's good for mentors to feel responsible for their mentees, however it's important for mentors to recognize that they are not primarily accountable for the mentees success. Mentoring involves a shared responsibility, with the mentee bearing a larger portion. The success of a mentoring relationship is very dependent on how dedicated the protégé is.
Many people forget that even the most senior among us can benefit from mentoring. Often mentors in high positions are assumed to be too knowledgable to need another mentor. However, even these individuals can often benefit from a mentor during a change in career focus or professional path.
Remember that learning from your mentor does not necessarily mean imitating your mentor. Recognizing your differences while at the same time learning from their success is usually best.
Take an Interest in Your Mentee
As a mentor, take personal interest in your mentee. Learn their goals, aspirations, and desires. Legitimate care for your protégé can help ensure future success.