Hold your hands out, are you ready to receive the keys to successful mentoring. I’m ready to hand them to you. I believe that many keen executives carry around a mistaken belief about what actually happens while establishing trying to establish a mentoring relationship at work. It really does not surprise me considering how mentoring has progressed in the last decade.
The worth that is placed on your mentoring relationship will define its critical success. Each individual involved in the mentoring must accept their responsibility for making it work. When something isn’t taking shape, be sure to talk about what is concerning you. When anticipations are met, it’s important to realize that it’s time to move on to the next chapter in your mentoring.
Whether you are the one being mentored or the one mentoring, it’s important to be alert and aware of recognizing signs that the mentoring relationship is or is not working. It’s up to the mentor or the mentee to make the coaching relationship work and to speak up or take steps to adjust what does not work in Managers as Mentors Chip Bell and Marshall Goldsmith offer some essential tips to keep in mind:
For Being a Great mentee:
- Handpick a mentor who can help you be the greatest you can be—not the one who can ease you into a promotion.
- It is possible to learn more from people who are different from you.
- Spell out your goals and expectations for the mentoring relationship, and communicate them in your first meeting.
- Be yourself. Be prepared to take risks with new skills and ideas.
- When given feedback, make sure to listen and say thank you.
For Being a Great Mentor:
- Mentoring is a partnership to help your mentee learn. It is not about being an expert or the one in authority.
- You are not there to instruct but insted to foster discovery. Ask powerful questions instead of giving smart answers.
- Be trustworthy, open and sincere. Be sure that the environment is comfortable and safe.
- Remember to act more like a friend than a boss.
- Be both curious and attentive.
- Give feedback but with a strong focus on the future, not the past.
The best gift that you can give yourself, is to find a mentor.