Its important to get a mentor and be a mentor.
In circumstances when you are mentoring a person, your aim should be to help the person become a well-rounded leader. Now, there are some circumstance were the mentorship is a “program” relationship and the aim is narrow. An example of this is SCORE. SCORE is a government mentor program that offers free mentors to people who are starting a business. These relationships are normally created to help the person in a particular area. Aside from a mentorship program, the target/goal is to focus on the overall progression of the person. This type of relationship takes time to develop.
You should try to create a bond with the person. You want to create an environment that allows you to honestly communicate with little filter. When we say little filter, we just mean that a great mentorship relationship is with a person you trust with the “tough” stuff. For Example, as a progressed in my career, I had less people to give me advice. Luckily, I had a mentor that was open. He helped me to identify things I needed to get better at. He suggested books for me to read.
He even suggested other people for me to speak to if it was a topic he knew less about.
For me, that was indication that I found the right person. A great mentor doesn’t lie or care to pretend he or she knows every. I have often suggested other experts to my mentee’s. If you pretend to know it all, you will hurt your creditability and overall relationship with the mentee.
A great mentor cares enough to make “introductions.”
Keep in mind that you may have an idea of things the person needs help with, yet, you want the person to know you are there for them. So, how do you get started? Here are some good questions to ask your mentee:
- What would you like to get out of this relationship?
- What are the areas you want to work on?
- What are your short term goals? Long Term?
- What can I do to help you reach those goals?
- When do you want to meet next?