Pay It Back: 4 Ways To Become A Better Mentor.
1. Communicate and listen.
Your mentee should ultimately oversee their own career path. You exist to help them achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. Don’t inject too much of your own desires or opinions into their plan. Ask them about their aspirations and what they want and expect from you, be it support, guidance, insight, etc.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add your personality to the relationship. Rather, channel your own intentions in the matter to help your mentee get ahead. For instance, maybe you want to help someone who’s in the same boat you once were in, or perhaps you want to give someone opportunities they don’t have access to due to limited resources. Your passion must be evident in your endeavor – your objectives should be pure but also benefit you in some way.
“Define what … your mentee should get out of a mentoring relationship with you and why you want to mentor,” said Sarah Deane, founder of effectUX. “This will enable you to set expectations, agree on the goals of the relationship and maintain healthy boundaries that respect the relationship.”
If you each share your hopes and desires for the relationship, you’ll be able to establish a mutually valuable dynamic. Mentoring is not a one-sided conversation; it is an open discussion that encourages thoughts, questions and concerns.
This must also happen without judgment. If your mentee feels too insecure to ask a question, you need to find a way to earn their trust and build their confidence.
“It is important to understand a mentee’s challenges, goals, desires, and feelings so that you can best support them, engage with them and encourage them,” said Deane…..
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