Be a Great Mentor

By, 07/17/2013

Mentors are part of the professional landscape, offering advice and words of wisdom as they guide others through a new career. Here are a few ways you can enhance your mentoring abilities.

Once you’ve been asked to become a mentor, stick with it. If you aren’t willing to make the commitment, another mentor should be assigned so the mentee can fully benefit from having someone available consistently.

First and foremost, a mentor is a teacher—but they’re also there to listen. New hires will likely have frustrations and concerns with learning the job, so just listening sometimes is more helpful than trying to give advice or tell them how to do something. Further, be open-minded. In order to give good advice or feedback, fully understanding the problem is key.

But quite possibly the best way to be a great mentor is by being a mentee first, so you know what it’s like to be in their shoes. Additionally, by having your own mentor first, you can learn what works and what doesn’t. For example, learning and communication styles can vary in the workplace, so talking about what works well for you in the beginning should help avoid confusion down the line.