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How do you guide somebody? How do you pass on your expertise and share knowledge in the most effective and long-lasting way possible? How do you become a mentor and engage your mentees into the most exciting and absorbing learning experience of their lives?
Read on to learn about mentorship and refine your role as one using our advice.
Who are mentors and what do they do?
Mentors are people who take the responsibility of guiding and assisting those who need it in challenging situations. They are people who have sufficient capacity to work through problems with their mentees efficiently and methodically. They also are individuals who can be trusted, relied on, and even admired, to some degree. Well, the admiration part is not a must but surely you can imagine how your inspiration doubles when interacting with somebody you look up to – you instantly get a boost in your performance and strive to represent yourself from the most noteworthy perspectives.
To dive into detailed explanations of different topics on our subject matter, such as how to build a realistic relationship with your mentee or engrossing mentoring activities you should use to win the hearts of your mentees once and for all you can read both books about it or use the internet as your textbook. A number of books about mentoring worthy of your attention could be the following:
- The Mentor that Matters: Stories of Transformational Teachers, Role Models, and Heroes – more of a motivating read than technical but you can still take advantage of its stimulating nature.
- Mastering Mentoring and Coaching with Emotional Intelligence – this one focuses on transcending your own limits through certain mentoring practices.
- The Mentoring Manual – a more focused and goal-specific piece. The way it spoon-feeds complex information on mentoring is already a reason to read at least its summary.
Alright! Don’t sulk now – we also got options for the non-bookworms in our audience. The perfect choice for you would be instructive but on-point reads. Nobody has all the time and patience in the world that’s why there is plenty of information out there to help you comprehend what the subtle art of mentoring is. The internet jumps to the rescue with its many useful articles, blogs, and videos on mentorship so just get on the web and loop up to topics that interest you the most. The suggestions to you include but are not limited to: the importance of mentorship in everyday life, how you can use mentoring to help people, the best practices of mentoring to adopt as a mentor, or how to build promising relationships with your future mentees.
Regardless of which option works best for you, the mentoring literature or the digital way, keep in mind that what you are doing is educating yourself. And it is the kind of self-education that will get you to places if you keep your work steady and consistent.
Win the mentees for keeps
Let’s not forget about the exciting part of your job that essentially draws your mentees into the process. To keep being their favorite mentor there are certain things you may want to get on doing. Take a look at the list below to see what you could incorporate in your overall mentoring.
- Hold AMA sessions
AMA standing for ask me anything, is the type of gathering that allows your mentees to get answers to all the bugging questions they have piled up over time. AMA also builds the kind of wholesome and comfortable atmosphere that makes everybody in the session more outspoken about their interests and concerns. This will also make the mentor’s job easier in being as helpful as possible.
- Go to live events
This may sound simple or even unnecessary, but you are sure to change your mind if you just remember how uniting collective outings are. Whether you were in school when you went to a field trip with your teacher or at work when you had a sports Sunday with your superior – you may still recollect how sharing that experience outside of your regular setting brough you closer like nothing else. Simply put effort into cultivating a natural relationship with your mentees which would make them more confident in your counsel.
- Host virtual events
Opposite to taking part in live events, you can also host fun virtual events which could do your work justice in a countless of ways. Whether you decide to have your online gathering as an entertaining study seminar or a team-building workshop for your mentees, it will still be a great chance to encourage active participation since history has shown that people make it to online gatherings more successfully than the in-person ones. One more thing, take care of the visuals you intend to use in your online session since using quality data visualization tools are critical in keeping your mentees hooked throughout the entire conference.
So far, the concentration has, by far and large, been on how to carve a quality mentoring character out of you and how to build a mutually generative and promising relationship with and among your mentees. This means that it is time to tackle the professional aspects of mentorship.
Don’t get away from the screen yet! It is not intimidating as it may sound – professionalism in a mentor is something that comes naturally as a result of a working environment so there is not much you have to get a handle on if you haven’t got it by now.
Learn to present yourself
Work on your written and verbal communication
First and foremost a good mentor is an excellent communicator. The ability to express thoughts clearly and concisely is highly valued in all sectors of life, not to mention how game-changing it is for advisers in terms of the work they get done and the feedback they receive. Hone those communications skills of yours to be able to interact with anybody and under any circumstances. This will not only impress your mentees and win their deep regard and appreciation for you, it will also serve you well in your future endeavors.
Master professional communication
Not straying off from the first success factor too far, in the second we have communicating professionally. Just to clarify, what this second point teaches you hugely differs from our daily interactions, that is why behaving enviably well in casual-social settings may not be enough to get you the imaginary badge of a competent and skilled communicator. Perfecting your professional communication entails a number of things – learning the basics should be the goal at present.
Effective writing is the right place to start from, but the question is where would you need it? Well, the short answer is everywhere. The more detailed answer is documents such as business reports, plans, proposals, executive summaries. Learning to write papers of this sort will guarantee a boost in your communicative capabilities. Taking advantage of your colleagues’ kindness and having them review your writing or simply applying to a professional business plan consultant for the same purpose is another great idea to make sure your documents are up to standard and ready for the inevitable submission.
Become the manager, not the managed
It is easy to get carried away in our hectic reality by the many responsibilities we have taken on, by the daily errands that need to be run on time, by the constant inflow of emails that hang on unread waiting to be replied, by the to-do list boxes awaiting to be ticked, and so many more things that seem impossible to keep track of. Yes, we understand and feel the challenge of keeping up and being in control of things rather than losing our grip of the steering wheel and becoming the ones being controlled by our duties. That is why we are here to tell you that it is natural to feel overwhelmed at times and that it is also possible to manage your life in a realistic way without having to feel burdened all 365 days of the year.
Begin small and move steadily forward. Realize that looming deadlines are only intimidating because we look at the big picture and feel that we could fail. Instead of that you could interpret your big picture as a puzzle which only requires you assemble its pieces. You will surely get the work done if you develop the habit of breaking your big tasks into little chunks and tackling only each at a time. In a year, these small tweaks in your working style will add up to a big change in your management structure.
Enjoy the perks of assistance. Whether you hire somebody for the job or choose the much-favored method of online task management tools, either will be a great help to you, the kind that everybody could benefit from. Indeed, the best part about management software is how it gets things done for you while still maintaining the impression that you are the one in charge of things. And, of course, you are, only it is the software creating and organizing planners for you, registering entries, sorting through information, and ordering your data for your convenience and ease of use. These digital-multitasking-little-geniuses make it really hard to think of a better assistant for managing things. I mean, is it strange to wonder who else or what else could do so many things so well and all at once? No human can do that for sure.
Now that we have everything pinned down from what an ideal mentor is, to how to involve your mentees into the experience, to being a professional advisor excellent at both speaking and writing, and finally to achieving the work-life balance through the right management methods, we are ready to let you soar carrying all the knowledge and competencies that you have just procured for yourself.
Spread your wings on the following note: Mentoring is more than a simple aid; it is about earning trust and offering your genuine assistance to those who are in need of it all the while supporting and cherishing the process.