The Mentorship Program that Helps Leaders Grow their People
As mentors, there are seven key traits that lead to your success when it comes to mentoring others. Keep these in mind when you are seeking out people to mentor, or when you are mentoring someone yourself.
1. Reliability – This means being the one everyone else turns to with questions or advice. You become trusted within the group because of this trait. They know you are not going to abandon them.
2. Mentoring – Mentors are mentors for a reason, and that is because they have something everyone else is looking for. Mentors are successful in whatever they do, which means that the skills they have can be taught to others. Mentorship is a mentoring relationship where one person (the Mentor) regularly helps someone else (the Mentee) to learn and develop.
3. Knowledge – Mentors spend time learning new things in order to be mentors, which means they acquire knowledge regularly throughout their lives. They grow with knowledge because of this trait and continually pass it on to others.
4. Empathy (see also ‘How to Lead Empathically by Seeking First to Understand‘) – Mentors are able to put themselves in the Mentee’s shoes and see what they are experiencing. They help Mentees through these experiences with understanding. Mentors don’t judge Mentees based on their struggles or successes but empathize with them regardless of where they are currently at life-wise.
5. Flexibility – Mentors are able to adjust their Mentorship in accordance with the Mentee’s needs in that moment. They do not follow a strict schedule or rigidly keep to an agenda in Mentoring sessions, but instead go with the flow depending on how Mentees are doing at the time. Mentors change their Mentorship up when Mentees change, for this is how Mentorship works.
6. Collaboration – Mentors actively engage in a dialogue with Mentees in Mentoring sessions to discuss what they are learning and coach them to achieve their goals. Mentors have the knowledge necessary to help Mentees find success, but Mentees must be willing to take responsibility and actively participate in Mentoring sessions if they want Mentors to help them find success. Mentorship cannot be forced but must be a mutual relationship where Mentees are willing participants.
7. Patience – This trait is essential for Mentorship to succeed, because having too much of it is important, as well as recognizing when Mentees need Mentorship and when Mentees don’t. Mentors must be patient with those who need Mentorship now, as well as those who may not come around to needing Mentorship for a while, maybe even longer than Mentors wish they would.
Mentoring is a nuanced relationship that takes work from both parties involved. As mentors, we should be doing all the legwork to help our mentees succeed in their goals and not just leave them on their own. We need someone who will keep us accountable for what they want out of this process too – it’s only fair if you ask your mentee to do something, you have to follow through with it as well. Who are some people you could mentor? What would make an ideal match-up between yourself and one of these individuals?