A mentor is basically a trusted person that offers support to someone who needs it. The person offered the support is known as the mentee. The relationships between the mentor and the mentee vary both in the type of mentorship offered and the period it lasts.
They could be long mentorship problems that are mostly programs or short ones that assist the mentee to work through a problem.
Whatever the relationship is, all mentors motivate, inspire and support the mentees and help them by giving them tools that help them navigate through their challenges or achieve their set goals.
They could come in the form of a role model, just a voice of reason, a trusted person. But all of them have the capabilities of making the mentee grow professionally. They’re required to always have the interests of the mentee at heart.
What they offer is diverse. They encourage the mentees during trying times and share their experiences in life with the mentees that enable the mentee to get a clearer picture of their journey towards success and setting of goals and aspirations.
Mentors are basically a support base for the mentee.
Types of mentors.
There are different types of mentors out there. They all have different methods and skills depending on the areas they deal with. The three main types are discussed below:
These types help their mentees to work their career transitions by guiding them on career goals. They have to be senior in their capacity either at the organization the mentee works or in a different organization and with a vast base of experience in the field.You can mentor in terms of business for example how to boost your e-commerce profits among other topics.
These kinds of mentors are inclined towards helping a new employee of almost the same job status fit in the organization and settle in fast. They focus on teaching work procedures, work skills and anything that would help the new employee to execute their duties effectively.
These ones focus on their past life experiences to encourage and support those they mentor. They come in different shapes and sizes. They could be professionals in a field, neighbors, colleagues, family members and any other type. They can assist in career or personal development depending on how well versed they are in the different fields.
How to mentor.
Good mentorship should always be characterized by virtues that vary from mutual respect and understanding, good communication and trust all the way to shared values.
Here are some of the things that a mentor should put into consideration for their mentorship to be successful.
1.Choose mentees carefully
They need to make sure that the mentee is efficient, effective, responsible, organized and engaged so that they don’t lose time on candidates who don’t have their eyes focused on the program. The best way to analyze how committed the mentee is can be by giving them tests. You can give them books and ask them to write a review on some relevant areas in the book or ask them to make a presentation in their areas of expertise. That way you can have a good analysis of whom you are dealing with; whether they are interested in what they are involved in or not.
A mentor should establish themselves as good listeners. You need to assist the mentee to get a solution. You don’t solve it or for them. You need to realize that you are a life coach and therefore both your failures and weaknesses count in making the mentee realize that it’s a route that is built on a perfection thesis. You should allow your mentee to curve a niche for themselves since everyone is different. You don’t impose it on them.
3.Deliver honest feedback
When you give positive criticism where it’s due, it helps the mentee to realize that the mentor has high expectations of them and helps them strive to achieve the set goals.The mentor should always focus on both the strengths and the weaknesses of the mentee in an honest way so that they can bring out the best from them.
All human beings are bound to have differences of opinions during their interactions. Therefore good mentorship. also involves solving problems and therefore mentors ought to realize that differences of opinions and misunderstanding that occur should be dealt with before they get out of hand. The mentor who is the guide in the relationship is the one that should ensure that if those rifts threaten to undermine what they are trying to build, they’re dealt with head on and effectively.
5.Avoid mentorship malpractice
When you are a mentor, you should avoid cases of mentorship malpractice that you might not notice. These include things such as taking credit of your mentees ideas, preventing the mentee from seeking the opinions of other mentors which prevents them from having a diverse base of growth, or being too submissive and allowing the mentee to dig their own graves by not preventing them from repeating the mistakes they have done previously.
6.Established mutual respect
There should be a mutual respect which makes two-way communication successful. Even if the mentee asks for your time during your busy schedule, you should be able to incorporate them because whatever they want to discuss might also be important and urgent.
But there should always be a clear understanding between the mentor and the mentee on the issues of time so that there is no deliberate intrusion into each other’s time.
You should establish the standards expected of the mentee and also what they should expect from you.
All these should be set early enough during the program to avoid later crises.
7.Establish a mentorship team
Due to diversities in institutions, it has become important for mentors to share responsibilities with others for the growth of the mentee. They can co-work to ensure that the mentee gets the best of each one of them.
So as a mentor, you can establish a mentorship team that allows your mentee to hop from one mentor to another especially if your time schedule is limited.
But as a primary mentor, you harbor the responsibility of ensuring the mentee approaches you for provision of moral, career, and institutional support. But all the other members can assist in their respective departments of expertise to come up with a complete product of the mentee.
This involves impacting skills on the mentee in such a way that it prepares them for the roles of mentors thereafter. This period varies depending on the type of program and the mentee.
However It should be the ultimate goal of the mentor to bring out a product that can assist others grow or achieve the same goals later. It is the prerogative of the mentor to know when the mentee is rife for that transition.
Mentoring is basically about motivation and inspiration and therefore as a mentor, you need to help the mentee to come out of their comfort zones and achieve what they think is unrealistic. You need to help remove the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their full potential.