John Crosby once said that mentoring is “a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” January is officially National Mentoring Month according to this Presidential Proclamation. So now is the time to take a moment and help an aspiring entrepreneur or executive grow.
Here are some tips on being a good mentor.
- Be a Role Model – Mentors look up to you; so give them a reason to. If you don’t act in a manner someone would want to emulate, then you probably aren’t mentoring anyone.
- Don’t Blow off Your Mentee – If you’ve embraced the role as a mentor, you’ve embraced your mentee. If you aren’t invested in your mentee, then you are just wasting her time.
- Share – The mentee needs to learn from her mentor, what are you teaching them? Simply sharing your experiences and insights is more than enough, but you have to make sure that’s what you are actually doing – never assume.
- Build Confidence – As a mentor, it is your job to help build the confidence of your mentee. Acknowledge their achievements and celebrate their success, you’d be amazed at how far a little positive encouragement can go.
- Be Credible – If you’re willing to take on a mentee, that’s great! Do you, however, have the credibility? Mentors need to be established in whatever subject or profession they are mentoring in. If you lack credibility, you probably shouldn’t seek out a mentee.
- Be Fair – You don’t have to be best friends, but you should be fair to your mentee. They are looking up to you for help in finding their way.
Want more advice? Check out additional Center for Women in Business blog posts on mentoring.