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How To Be An Effective Mentor

Mentoring is a great way to help your staff improve their skills – the process of providing impartial insight, practical support and feedback means you can pass down institutional knowledge and wisdom to more junior members of the team. But can anyone become a mentor? Yes, anyone has the ability to become an effective mentor and offer valuable support and guidance to other members of the organisation. Being more aware of these seven skills and personality traits will help you become a more effective mentor…

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Approachability

Your Mentee must feel comfortable coming to you with any problems or issues. It’s great practice to mention when you will be available for mentoring sessions. You could even highlight that your door is always open to them. This open, flexible attitude is critical to appearing approachable and fostering a productive working relationship with those you are mentoring.

Inquisitiveness

Keep on top of your industry, learn new trends and most importantly understand them. To be an effective Mentor you need to know all the developments in your industry and be able to discuss them with those you are working with. From time to time you will come across a question you don’t immediately know the answer to, but this is an opportunity to look it up and learn more.

Diplomatic Honesty

If you can’t provide honest feedback and advice to your Mentee, how will they ever improve? But you need to be tactful and give honest advice in a way that will not hurt their feelings. Be constructive and offer both positive and negative feedback – saying what they need to hear not what they want to hear is something you should keep in your mind.

Ability To Communicate

You are an expert in your field. And you have a lot of skills and experience that you need to be willing to pass on. Being able to clearly explain this knowledge is key to helping your Mentee improve themselves. Try and avoid jargon when mentoring because it confuses the situation and makes your points less clear.

Black and white meeting

Fairness

Mentoring relationships are not the same as friendships. Do not show your Mentee special privileges and try to avoid consistently defending them – you don’t need to do it. All it does is make it appear like that Mentee is your favourite person in the world. Which not only harms others perception of you, it can also make your Mentee less receptive to your advice.

Preparedness

Show your Mentee the respect they deserve by preparing well for each mentoring session. You should try and prepare topics that your Mentee wants. Outline the key points you want to make and plan your time. This will make your session more effective.

Compassion

Just because you’re being objective doesn’t mean you can’t be genuine and show your compassion. Being willing to share your own personal experiences, feelings, problems and solutions to demonstrate your points will give real depth to your feedback and be easier for your Mentee to relate to.

Has this helped you improve your mentoring skills? What other qualities and skills do you think a mentor needs? Share them with us on our social media pages.

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