Being a mentor is a wonderful compliment and a great opportunity to share the skills, wisdom and knowledge you have gained through your experiences. It’s also a critical part of leadership development and an essential component in succession planning as an entrepreneur.
Looking to the future
As a mentor, you’re responsible to your mentee to help them to grow and develop but they are responsible for their own growth and development and for doing the work necessary to achieve that growth. Mentoring is all about the future – what are your career goals?
How do you want to develop? What do you want to be different and/or better in your life in the future?
The mentee needs to share their goals and dreams and as a mentor your role would be to help them identify the tasks and interventions necessary along the way. For example should the mentee wish to grow their customer base by 30% over the next six months, you could help them to identify monthly activities and timelines to ensure progress is being made and measured at regular intervals.
Encouragement comes first
Another key element of mentorship is ensuring that they have the skill and ability to do the required tasks and if not, to provide some form of training to help them achieve the desired outcomes. They also need to be given the opportunity to think and reason for themselves and not just given solutions from their mentor.
Another important part of the role as a mentor is to recognise and celebrate the mentee’s progress and successes, and to encourage them on their growth path.
While you don’t need to be an expert in every aspect of business, you do need to know what your mentee needs in order to continue growing and learning and where to access the relevant information so that you can guide them appropriately.
At The Hope Factory we are striving to become a mentoring organisation by developing a culture of mentorship at every level within the organisation. Each of us has strengths, gifts, talents and experiences that have empowered and developed us as individuals.
Sharing these attributes with others in the organisation who embrace our vision and values and who are heading in the same direction, is the start of the mentorship process.
Without doubt, mentorship needs to be intentional but not necessarily structured and formal in its approach. Also, don’t underestimate the opportunity for you as a mentor to learn and grow from your mentee. The impact both ways can be profound.
Effective mentorship goes beyond making a difference in the lives of others – it has the ability to transform lives forever if done well.