Things You Need to Know About Mentoring

The Things You Need to Know About Mentoring.

So what is mentoring all about?

Mentoring is a highly valuable activity that can help you in life, careers or business.

At the core of the activity is the relationship between the mentor and the mentee.

Where the development of the mentee is the key focus.

The development needs satisfied through the relationship.

This can vary in focus from guidance on settling into a new business or performance improvement to career management.

The main point with mentoring is that the focus is determined by the mentee.

They must lead in identifying issues and with guidance from the mentor to resolving them.

The mentor is not there to provide ‘the answers’, but to guide the mentee towards ‘the answer’ that is right for them.

The mentoring relationship can be both short and long term.

It may develop to focus on a particular issue or it may be one that lasts for years covering a range of issues.

Typically, the mentor and mentee meet at designated times and places to discuss issues, make plans to resolve and then review.

The formal vs. informal nature of the sessions is down to those involved but each session must have a purpose.

Why should you become a mentor?
 become a mentor

Because engaging in a mentoring relationship is beneficial for mentor and mentee as a whole.

The specific benefits of a mentor are:

  • Broadening of skills and knowledge
  • Provision of a new dimension to current job or business
  • Can increase personal and professional networks
  • Seeing others develop from your experiences

The benefits entering into mentoring relationships are:

  • Increase in knowledge retention within a business
  • Positive impact on recruitment and retention
  • Able to adapt better to changes

Should you become a mentor?become a mentor

The decision to become a mentor is not one that should be taken lightly.

Being a mentor for someone is a rewarding and valuable role to take on.

But before agreeing you must understand the skills and qualities required to be a mentor and what the role will involve.

Skills and qualities needed for you to be a mentor

  • Interested in being a mentor

If you are asked to become a mentor…

You must think carefully whether you actually want to do it.

You can always say No.

  • Available time

Mentoring will require a time commitment…

So look at your existing time commitments and truly evaluate whether you can spare the time.

  • Appropriate knowledge and skills

You should be involved in a similar field to that of the mentee.

So that you can provide guidance from an understanding of the area they are working in.

  • Listening skills

Are you able to actively listen to others?

By not interrupting but listening and reflecting back on what the mentee is saying.

  • Patient and supportive

As the relationship is led by the mentee…

You will need to be prepared to support them towards achieving their goals.

You need to let them reach conclusions at their own pace and not impose your views or suggestions.

  • Trustworthy

The issues discussed during mentoring sessions must be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Therefore, the mentee needs to believe that they can trust you.

Your role as a mentor
become a mentor

As a mentor, you will be viewed as a more experienced…

Who is willing and able to pass on the benefit of that experience.

But your role is not simply to ‘tell’ the mentee what to do…

Your role as a mentor is to:

  • Listen and be supportive
  • Provide non-judgmental support
  • Provide guidance on issues raised
  • Clarify goals of mentee
  • Pass on knowledge and experience

Getting started as a mentor

Once you have agreed to be a mentor…

Then you need to agree with the mentee how the relationship will work.

This should ideally be done at the beginning of your first meeting.

There is no need to formalize the arrangement by drawing up a contract.

But there are key issues that need to be discussed and agreed.

Below is a suggested list of the topics to include in your discussion:

  • Meetings
  • Frequency and length
  • Location
  • Formal vs. Informal
  • Who and how will outcomes/action plans be recorded?
  • How will communication outside of meetings be dealt with; method, turnaround, frequency etc.?
  • Are there any issues that will not be discussed?
  • Are there any limits on confidentiality?

Are the contents of the meetings to be kept confidential or can they be discussed with outside parties?

There is a 3 Stage Approach you should use

mentoring

An effective mentoring relationship has been shown to move through 3 stages.

Each stage builds on the learning from the previous and within each stage there are responsibilities for both the mentor and mentee.

Stage 1 – Exploration

During the first stage of the process your role as a mentor is to provide information, when requested by the mentee.

And to ask probing questions to help the mentee make judgements.

It is during this stage that you need to use your ‘active listening’ skills.

Using good questioning techniques and then recapping, paraphrasing and summarizing to try and get to the center issue being raised.

Remember you are there to guide the mentee…

Not to provide a solution or impose your point of view.

Stage 2 – New Understanding

Having gone through the first stage…

The likelihood is, that some ‘new understanding’ will be reached about the issue being discussed.

This may be a minor change in viewpoint or a major breakthrough in a person’s thinking processes.

Regardless of the size or significance of the breakthrough.

Your role as the mentor is to reflect back to the mentee what they have learned.

You should then guide the mentee through thinking about the implications of potential conclusions.

Stage 3 – Action

If you have successfully reached a new understanding…

The next stage is to agree what actions should be taken.

Again this is not about you as the mentor telling the mentee what to do.

You need to guide the mentee towards identifying actions they can implement.

If the actions are agreed…

You must ensure these are recorded and then monitored through regular review and feedback.

3 Mentoring Tips – How To Become A Better Mentor

My next post will be on understanding why you should get a mentor.

Here is a great article to read by Forbes: How To Be A Great Mentor

Read my latest blog on: 42 Quotes to Boost Your Self-Confidence

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

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