All mentors are unique in the skills they bring to mentoring. But there are 3 that are the most critical in being an effective mentor.
1. Be a good listener. This means not just listening to the words but to the whole communication: body language, tone of voice, gestures, etc. Many mentorees feel that when engaged in a mentoring session it is the only time where they get to speak and be heard. Being a good listener invites the person to share within a safe space.
2. Be a good facilitator and not a manager. Mentoring is a partnership between the mentor and mentoree not an employment relationship. It is sometimes difficult for mentors to step back and not take control of a situation as they feel by doing so they could solve the mentoree's problem. But this does not empower the mentoree. Facilitating involves sharing ideas, providing resources and offering sage advice when appropriate but not solving problems for the mentoree. "How do I assist my mentoree to gain what s/he needs to resolve the issue for themselves?"--that's the mantra of a good mentor.
3. Be empathic. Understand things from a mentoree's viewpoint. Provide support in terms of resources, encouragement and validate their feelings. It doesn't mean you have to agree with their perspective but it is important for the mentoree to feel that you are there and have genuine concern for them.
Practicing these skills will not only make you a better mentor but will also make you a better co-worker.
Business Mentoring Fosters Career Advancement for both mentors and mentorees. Check out our free white paper on this subject to learn more by clicking the button below.Kurhan | Dreamstime.com