If you’ve ever had someone take you under their wing, then you know how truly rewarding and invaluable a mentoring relationship can be. It can have an impactful influence on someone else’s life. In addition, it is just as much of an important learning experience for you as a mentor as it is for your pupil.
For some, the idea of mentoring can be intimidating. Perhaps you think you don’t have enough experience or time to be of value to your mentee. But instead of thinking “Why me?” change your mindset and instead think “Why not me?”.
Here are three tips to ensure your mentoring experience is truly rewarding, for both you and your mentee.
Make Yourself Available
Have you ever worked in an office that has an “open door” policy? While it is great in theory, oftentimes these well-meaning policies never come to fruition. Many have had their fair share of being shut down by their superiors or mentors who always seem to be too busy, despite having an “open door” policy.
So when it comes to your mentees, make yourself available to them and easy to reach. They are looking to us for feedback and its important to let them know that you care and are there for them. This can go a long way in building trust in your mentor-mentee relationship.
Share Your Experiences and Expertise
Chances are, you’ve had many times throughout your career where you’ve run into challenging situations. Some of our most trying times and failures can be when we learn the most. Sharing these experiences with your mentee can be big teaching moments, especially when it comes to showing how even our failures can be our successes as long as we learn from them.
There is always value in the experiences you’ve had, whether professional or personal, that can be vital to your mentees growth. You are the expert, and the knowledge you impart will help your mentee apply it to their own situations.
Be a Sounding Board
While mentees look to us for guidance, it is important to be actively engaged and listen when they present their obstacles to us. This helps us as mentors to be best equipped to guide them through difficult situations.
Being able to give sound advice is important in mentorship; but having the discipline to be patient and truly interested in their dialogue is equally as important. Oftentimes there is just as much for us to learn from our mentees as there is for our mentees to learn from us. And having an open ear is just one way to achieve this.
There’s no shortage of people and professionals who need additional guidance in their lives. Mentorship is highly rewarding and helps to develop your leadership skills, which ultimately translate to your professional career. And perhaps more importantly, sharing your insights through mentoring is incredibly rewarding to your mentee and enriching to their life.