How to be a good mentor: First, decide if you will be a good mentor fit.
Things to consider:
- A willingness to share your skills, knowledge, and expertise
This requires patience and a willingness to accept a mentee in whatever place they are. Think back to your beginning and how someone guiding you but not telling you what to do or think could have helped (or did help if you were mentored)
- Having a good attitude and willing to be a positive role model
Honesty about the successes and challenges but always staying positive and teaching ways to work through challenges productively
- Having the time to devote to building a relationship and empowering another person to be successful
- Willing to communicate constructively on opportunities for growth while celebrating the strengths of the mentee
Ideas for successful mentorship relationships:
- Establish expectations and ground rules
Discuss out what you expect of them (e.g. to come prepared with problems to resolve or inquiries to discuss; to show up on time; to treat this as a professional and respectful relationship, etc.). Explain what you're prepared to do for them: coach, teach, and open relevant doors. Set A contact schedule - How often will you and your mentee meet in person? Will you be available as well for phone or email/text consults anytime during the workday and evening, or only in specific timeslots on certain days?
- Be clear about your time boundaries. Offer enough availability not to leave your mentee in a lurch, but not so much that they become an annoyance.
- Do an informal needs assessment
Ask the mentee what their priorities are in meeting with you. Which aspects of their job or career do they want to know about most? What areas are they hoping to improve in?
- Set mutually agreed upon goals
- Listen carefully first, then ask and advise
- Let them make their own decisions
- Be accountable to each other
- Open doors
You have connections your mentee would benefit from. If the protégé shows that they are serious about learning and growing, introduce them to appropriate people in your network.
- Check your biases and impulses