2017 Holidays

Be a great mentor

Maybe it’s been with the help of a manager or professor, or even a leader in a different field entirely, but chances are, we wouldn’t be quite where are today professionally or personally without our mentors. Mentors are there to share the wisdom of their experience, act as sounding boards and advisors, help us network within our industries, and more.
 

 

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Many of us have had the good fortune of working with mentors inside closerlook and beyond, and want to pay it forward. Here are some ways we’re working on being better mentors, with the help of this great Hubspot article by Lindsay Kolowich:

 

  1. Approach every mentorship differently: It may be helpful to establish goals, development needs and preferred communication style before beginning the relationship.

  2. Set expectations: Once you’ve established goals, it’s important to establish what you both are planning to gain from the relationship. Are you helping to build on a skill, land a new job, or just act as a sounding board?

  3. Take a genuine interest in your mentee as a person: To give good advice, you’re really going to have to get to know the person. Beyond his or her professional skills, what are his or her personal interests and life experience?

  4. Know when to wait before giving advice: Not all feedback is good feedback. Take the time, if needed, to respond about a topic or issue.

  5. Improve your emotional intelligence: Kolowich points out that good mentors know how to get information by asking the right questions, reading their mentee's body language, being open-minded, and even acknowledging and controlling their own emotions, all of which improve two-way conversation.

  6. Don’t assume anything about your mentee: Ask clarifying questions, especially if you’re just getting to know each other.

  7. Be forthcoming about your mistakes: Not only does talking about what hasn’t worked provide learning opportunities, it builds trust and empathy.

  8. Celebrate their achievements: This can provide positive re-enforcement and offset negative perceptions you may be working through.

  9. Give more than you ask for: Enough said.

  10. Seek out projects or classes for skills your mentee wants to develop: If your mentee is looking to gain a new skill, it might be helpful to connect him or her to someone in the industry with that experience or point them to a class they might find beneficial.

  11. Solve for the long term: Kolowich advise to Work with your mentee as if you'll be their mentor forever. That mindset will make it easier for you to give them long-term guidance, which will help them make decisions that outlive their time with you.”

  12. Lead by example: Being a positive role model goes a long way in teaching someone the ropes.

 
Have you had a great mentor over the years? Tag them at @closerlookinc and thank them for helping pave the way.

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