How to Become a Better Mentor for Your Staff
As a manager, you have the unique opportunity to become a mentor to those who report to you. Bosses who rise to the occasion and take on the role of mentor transform from the title of boss into that of a leader.
The truth is that whether you rise to the challenge of becoming a mentor or not, your team members will still look to you for inspiration, guidance and support. By stepping into the role of mentor, you’ll empower your employees, thus creating a better culture and, in turn, customer experience.
What Are The Different Types Of Mentors?
- Career Mentors: Career mentors are the most common type of mentor. The mentor will serve as a career advisor and advocate, helping the mentee reach new goals or objectives in their career.
- Peer Mentors: Being a peer mentor can be defined as helping another with a specific skill to help them accomplish a goal. For example, if one employee understands digital marketing, they would teach the other what they know to help them get up to speed.
- Life Mentors: A life mentor usually goes beyond the scope of simply a job connection. The life mentor is typically not found in the workplace. Oftentimes, it’s a family member, like a parent, uncle, aunt or grandparent, that offers their mentee advice as they go through life.
Tips For Being A Good Mentor
- Approach each mentorship differently. Each mentoring relationship is unique. Start with the realization and set expectations, parameters and goals based on the specifics of this particular mentorship.
- Take a genuine interest in your mentee as a person. A mentorship is personal and while it may have some benefits to the organization as a whole, it truly is an act of kindness that requires good intentions to be successful.
- Know when to wait before giving advice. Finding a balance between giving guidance and letting your mentee find their own way is important to helping the mentee grow.
- Be open about your story. Sharing your mistakes, missteps and career experience helps broaden your mentee’s mindset.
- Lead by example. One of the most beneficial things you can do as a mentor is lead by example. Your mentee will be watching closely and learning from how you handle yourself in certain situations.
- Celebrate their achievements. Even small wins can be worthy of celebration. Be sure to take time to highlight, reinforce and celebrate the things your mentee is doing correctly.
There is a fine balance between telling your employee what to do and coaching them. Empowering your employees to grow, learn and take on more responsibilities is at the center of the mentorship relationship.
While there are clear benefits for the mentee to be a part of a mentorship, the organization as a whole can also reap the benefits. The culture will likely grow, your workforce will be happier with higher levels of productivity and retention, and your customers will have better experiences due to satisfied employees.
In a competitive job market, having a thriving culture with trusting, happy employees can even turn into a recruiting tool to help you to attract top talent as you grow your business.
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