Advice from Our Expert: 4 Tips to Become a Successful Mentor

June 07, 2018

In the past we have discussed how an individual can be a good mentor but being a good mentor doesn’t always mean that they are a successful mentor. A good mentor understands what they need to do to help their mentee grow, while a successful mentor also focuses on how they can also grow throughout the relationship to better support their mentee.

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We spoke with our Consultant for Learning and Development, Matthew Heilman, to get a better understanding of why an individual’s success as a mentor is vital to the success of the mentoring relationship. Matthew shared that, “Mentors should be flexible to help support the basic needs of a mentee while maintaining a perspective of how to fulfill long term goals. Mentees primarily only see the goal at the end; mentors show them the path to get there.”

Matthew also shared some tips on how to become a successful mentor...

1. Make the Relationship Mutually Beneficial
Mentoring is a two-way street and a mentor shouldn’t solely be focused on how they can offer value to the mentee. They should also focus on ways that they can make the experience mutually beneficial. A great example of this is for the mentor to actively work to expand their network. Not only is this going to help the mentor grow their relationships, but it will give their mentee a direct link to build relationships with co-workers, and especially leaders, that they wouldn’t normally have access to.

2. Accept Your Implicit Bias and Use it to Understand Differences
Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. To build a successful mentoring relationship, and workforce, a mentor must understand these biases and acknowledge their existence. This will lead them to be more understanding and give them the opportunity to change, as well as promote change within their mentee.

3. Maintain an Inclusive Mentality
This one seems like a no-brainer, but in a lot of mentoring relationships, mentors are more focused on their mentee becoming who they want them to be instead of encouraging them to be who they are. By maintaining an inclusive mentality, mentors can create a more supportive and productive relationship which leads to more success for both participants.

4. Pay it Forward
Of course, a mentor should focus on become successful, but they shouldn’t stop there. A mentor that has found success within their own relationship should pay it forward and help their fellow mentors succeed.

If you are interested in implementing a mentoring program for your organization, please contact us.


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