Start your journey to becoming a great mentor with five simple steps.
Mentorship is an important topic that is gaining more traction in the professional advancement arena. Research has proven that professionals that have great mentors are more successful. In this post, I want us to redirect our thoughts to ask a different question around mentorship: Whom can I mentor?
We can all mentor someone out there in some shape or form. The concept of building a community through giving back and sharing our knowledge is one that resonates with me. Let's create a community of women who mentor women.
Who is a Mentor?
The definitions of a mentor varied a lot. I decided to create my definition:
A mentor is a trusted coach, adviser, guide, counselor who offers their knowledge, wisdom, and advice to support their mentee's personal or professional development.
Myths about mentorship
We successfully talk ourselves out of giving back and being great mentors. I want to start by debunking three myths I convinced myself were true.
Myth 1: “I cannot be a mentor.”
When you think about being a mentor you might think "I do not have anything to share" or "I do not have enough time." We all have something to share. Our experiences when shared can help others grow. Don't hold yourself back from experiencing the rewards of being a mentor.
Myth 2: Mentorship can only be in a professional setting
Many companies promote mentorship today, which is great. However, there is a more significant opportunity in our private communities. Think about all how you can make a difference in your professional and private setting.
Myth 3: There are no potential mentees around me
Typically, after we have moved on from not believing we can be a great mentor, then we think no one around us needs mentorship. Look around you, who are the girls/women that come to you for advice? Who are the people you want to help grow? I am sure you have someone in mind.
Why should you become a mentor?
There are many benefits for a mentor and mentee in a mentorship relationship
For you the mentor
5 simple steps to becoming a great Mentor
Step 1: Prepare yourself
Before you embark on this journey, be clear on what value you want to derive from a mentorship relationship.
Step 2: Identify areas you want to mentor in
Be clear on what you want to offer your mentees. Identify your mentorship areas by doing the following:
Step 3: Seek out potential mentees
As with every relationship, it is essential to choose your mentees carefully. Remember even your peers might be great mentees.
Step 4: Start your mentorship relationship
Once you and your mentee decide to start a mentorship relationship - make it official and start working together. To make your mentorship relationship effective, consider doing the following:
Step 5: Learn, Adjust and Pivot
Be prepared to adjust and make changes to your mentorship relationship to ensure you and your mentee are getting value. The mentorship relationship might not meet the objectives set. It is important to reevaluate and make changes accordingly. Mentorship is a learning journey; we can all get better at being mentors through practice.
Call to action - Become a mentor
I want to challenge you to kick-off your mentorship journey. Identify a mentee within the next three months, start mentoring and share your experience with me.