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10 Ways to Be a Better Mentor

written by: Andrea Campbell • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 4/15/2011

Mentoring provides a better-seasoned employee and it also helps to pass down the understanding and foundational knowledge to not only do things the “company way,” but to prepare someone to better manage the load. Here are ten ways toward being a good mentor, along with the benefits achieved.

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    Mentoring Tips and Rewards

    Business sign small  Starting a mentoring program is all about helping someone to develop professionally, but the rewards of moving a talented worker from inexperienced to awesome has its benefits. Read about the 10 ways to enhance the mentor experience.

    1. Aiding him in research. Some workers have always been told what to do but have never had instruction on figuring out why something is done that way. If you can instruct your mentee on how to do research and base things on fact, you may see problems or patterns you hadn’t noticed before.

    2. Providing input on current work. Often employees feel as if they are creating work in a vacuum. By assessing his work while it’s ongoing, your direct feedback will help him to shape the best work possible on the front end, before it’s finished and needs revision, saving valuable time.

    3. Keeping things confidential. Being a better mentor and managing the relationship means developing a level of trust. Respect that trust and the bond developed by demonstrating that managers can display quiet coolness and understanding.

    4. Setting them up for new challenges. By giving him greater responsibility, you can help him to figure out an approach—even if it seems a lot to handle—and then discuss the outcome afterward, so he can assess his own performance and feel good about a small triumph.

    5. Enrolling him in a class or project of study. By having him undertake instruction, you are reinforcing a continuing education mentality and something that may help him to develop new goals.

    6. Giving him helpers. Teachers learn. If he is able to manage an intern, he will learn how to operate as an authority and can discuss with you management challenges and how best to work things out—providing a new perspective in what it means to be a leader.

    7. CheckiSachin Dev small ng over timelines. The only way to assure you can give him the confidence to take on more is by learning how to balance time against effort and goal.

    8. Leading by example. If you invite him to sit in on meetings, interviews or conversations with clients, the exposure to your methodology will prove invaluable in his future effectiveness. By seeing you handle tough situations, he will learn to develop his own instincts apart from yours.

    9. Talking about ethics. Work is about putting yourself out there and there will always be dilemmas and questions about how to proceed and move forward in dicey situations. You can show your mentee the values and standards of the company, so there is no inclination to take shortcuts, unethical risks or be less than honest.

    10. Introducing them to others in a position to help. Never be afraid of providing your mentee with new opportunities as part of succession planning. Not only will your sponsorship provide him with ways to develop and gain visibility, but your generosity of spirit with ‘paying it forward’ lives on.

    Down the line, you many find more than ten ways to being a good mentor but if you can hit these key elements, you will have done your best.

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    Reference & Resource

    20 Ways to Be a Better Mentor: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/20_Ways_to_be_a_Better_Mentor_101420_7.pdf

    Mentor Coach: http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/30/mentor-coach-executive-training-leadership-managing-ccl_print.html

    The 8 Best Ways to Mentor: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2009/01/12/the-8-best-ways-to-mentor-someone

    Image Credits:

    • Bus. sign: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Business_Loop_65.svg#file

    Wikimedia Commons/Ltljltlj

    • Indian Man: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sachin_Dev_Duggal_(Horasis_Global_India_Business_Meeting_2010).jpg

    Wikimedia Commons/Richter Frank-Jurgen