For new hires, a mentor is like a beacon of light that can help guide them through the secret alleyways of the workplace. However, most new employees get disappointed with their mentors early on, either because they are not as knowledgeable as they expected them to be, or because they do not have the time or the patience to guide them in the workplace.
If you have been assigned as a mentor to someone you want to make the most of this experience, not only because you will be helping them - and who doesn’t want to be a good Samaritan - but also because how you deal with your mentee speaks to your leadership abilities. Your ability to lead your mentee at the beginning of their career will show whether you have the skills to manage employees and motivate them to perform well. So to help you make the most of this experience we’ve put together a list that will help make you a more memorable mentor.
1. Be Respectful
New employees are often not treated with respect in the workplace, their professional opinions are not always valued, and their presence is frequently ignored. That’s because most managers fail to recognize new talent and don’t know what to make of it. This leaves most new employees disappointed with the workplace which affects their motivation and willingness to commit to their new workplace.
However, as a mentor, you shouldn’t make the same mistakes. You should treat your mentee with the utmost respect. Remember that they have been hired for their merits and because they can offer value to the company so make sure that you remain respectful at all times. Listen to their ideas and value their opinions, if they are wrong explain why they are wrong and if they are right praise them and make sure that they understand that they are recognized for their efforts.
Being respectful to your mentee is the first step towards inspiring them and a mentor who can inspire greatness is always memorable.
2. Bond With Your Mentee
Forging a strong relationship with your mentee should start from day one. Remember that if you take an interest in building a strong relationship with them, you will always have an ally in the workplace.
Take the time to get to know your mentee and understand what they can offer to the company. Understand what their strengths are and help them make the most of them, identify their weaknesses and help them improve. It’s important to take the time to bond professionally with your mentee because turning them into a valuable employee will earn you points with the management and you’ll also be creating a forever faithful ally.
If you are interested in making yourself a memorable mentor, it’s important to take things one step further and spend time with your mentee outside the company. Go for a drink with them or go for dinner, the time spent together away from the company will help you forge a stronger bond.
3. Show Humility
It’s important to remember that a good mentor is not one who never makes a mistake, but one who knows how to make the most of making mistakes. If your mentee knows something that you don’t, don’t shoot them down, allow them to teach you and you will be teaching them how to take criticism, a lesson that is always important in the workplace.
Being a mentor does not mean that you are some sort of divine creature that is knowledgeable about everything, and this is not what your mentee expects you to be. Understand that as a mentor you have to teach your mentee how to be a well-rounded professional, and this includes teaching them how to accept criticism.
If you have been assigned as a mentor to someone you should make the most of this relationship because it can help you learn just as much as you will be teaching. Put your heart into it and help your new colleague reach for greatness.
Have you ever had a memorable mentor? What made them memorable? Share with us in the comment section below.