Finding a mentor can be a great way to propel you towards success. Mentoring can take many forms and shapes, but to have a productive relationship there has to be positivity from both ends. To be an effective mentor, one would have to make sure that the relationship is focused on the mentee’s needs but that never stops it from being a satisfying experience for both parties, if done right.
This won’t be the case if a mentor does not lead with a few important principles. Bear in mind a few common principles; an important characteristic that is found in most good leaders who are able to develop the talents of those under their guidance is that they do all they can to instill the good values and lessons they have acquired in the past to give their mentees better foresight. In doing so, they are able to make others become better, well-rounded versions of themselves.
Defining what being a good mentor is all about can simply be stated as someone who leads with the focus of creating other leaders, by setting up a system that helps them grow and learn from experiences in a sincere and positive manner.
How they are able to achieve this? Here are 3 of the tactics used by the best mentors:
1. DEFINE THE RELATIONSHIP AND PRIORITISE IT OVER MENTORSHIP
While it is important that mentoring is effective and produces results, it can often become too procedural, with routine checks and putting a lot of importance on ticking off as many boxes as possible along the way.
Rather than building an authentic and honest relationship with open communication channels, you find you have two people setting up career-related goals and assignments. Sounds a whole lot like every other professor or college advisor. But what makes a real mentoring relationship succeed is the presence of some mentor/mentee chemistry and understanding.
Research studies have shown that without the existence of a genuine relationship between mentees and mentors, there is no design that can make a mentoring program successful. Those mentors who fail to prioritize building a basic relationship with their mentees tend to set them right back with those not being mentored at all.
What this means is that good mentors require some affinity to their mentees, and a capacity for empathetic responses and attitudes. The best mentorship involves breaking the traditional roles that have been formally defined and standing on some common ground as ordinary individuals first.
2. FOCUS ON LESSONS AND CHARACTER BUILDING
A less-than-positive mentor can have negative effects on a mentee’s development. When mentorship is based on competency rather than capitalizing on people’s strengths and helping them build character, it is set to fail.
Mentoring is not just about skill acquisition nor is it a career workshop or training program that evaluates and teaches job skills. Of course, this is one element that shapes a good mentoring model. However, competencies are one aspect of a comprehensive scheme to help an individual being mentored to move in the right direction in order to achieve the desired outcomes. This scheme involves leaders going above and beyond to ingrain good habits and influence character positively by ingraining the necessary values.
Capitalizing on existing strengths of their mentees which are unique to them, is made possible by teaching a greater sense of self-awareness and reassuring them of their capacities. Skill enhancement will always come second to concrete values and being able to learn from experiences and build a stronger personality from those lessons to find success.
3. GO BIG ON CHEERLEADING AND KEEP THE CYNICISM TO A MINIMUM
Open dialogue is as important as honesty in the best of mentor/mentee relationships, but as a mentor you need to stay positive. Offering recognition and giving the mentee more of your good energy, not taking from theirs.
More often than not, a mentee will approach his/her mentor with some overly ambitious goal or idea that from experience they may feel is unrealistic. The best mentors will review these and offer feedback and guidance that puts things in perspective. Set new targets that can be met and provide resources to make sure progress is made, no matter how gradual.
Resisting the temptation to constantly be critical in giving feedback is also a part of effective mentoring. In a world that prefers to see people fail unconventionally rather than take risks to achieve unconventional success, the best mentors are all about exploring the possibility of the latter with their mentees. When you struggle with the positive approach as a mentor, consider using the 24×3 optimism rule. This involves taking time to think a seemingly unrealistic idea through for 24 hours, 24 minutes or 24 seconds until you know you’ve analyzed all the reasons it could work and weighed them before being critical.
Put plainly, cynicism sucks. And it’s not much good in mentorship either, because while mentors are not supposed to be moms, they need to be committed to their mentee’s success and always expect the best from them. That is to say, they are supposed to be positive people who coach, caution and cheerlead at the same time. A healthy mentorship rejects harsh critiquing in order to propel the mentee to success.
If you’d like to learn more on why having a Mentor is beneficial, and how you can utilize them to improve any section of your life you set your mind to, then Click on the link below to get your FREE Mentoring Masterclass courtesy of Psychology Hacker’s CEO, Adam Lyons.
On that page, Adam breaks down exactly why it’s important that you get yourself a mentor. Not only that, he also makes his other six masterclasses available to you COMPLETELY FREE. These masterclasses are designed to help you achieve the success you’ve always deserved in life. So, don’t miss out and get your Free Psychology Hacker Masterclasses today.