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How to become a mentor?

What is a mentor? 19 tips that will make you a better mentor.

You have gained significant professional experience, your knowledge in your field of activity is expert and your career is developing successfully.

How can you take advantage of all this? Become a mentor .

What is a mentor?

To be a mentor means to be someone's trusted advisor  - to support and advise him , always putting his interests first.

As a mentor, your main responsibilities will be:

• Support the person you are mentoring.
• To help him develop a career that meets his potential and goals.
• Offer him knowledge, experience, constructive criticism, connections and resources.
• Focus on his long-term career goals.
• Be an example of success.

Why become a mentor?

People become mentors for various reasons.

1. Career development

Mentors are people who will make an extra effort to help someone else and have a positive impact on their life. This can open new career opportunities.

2. Improving leadership skills

When you train someone, you really become an expert in the field. Not only do you receive valuable leadership lessons, but you also question your current way of thinking and acting.

3. Satisfaction with the fact that you help someone

This may sound trite, but most people feel good when they know they have been helpful to someone.

Mentoring can help you stay up to date with the latest and greatest in your field of activity, energize your career and expand your network of contacts. You can learn new things from the person you will advise and refresh your perspective.

Who to mentor?

The person you will be mentoring must be professional, ethical and able to accept constructive criticism. Before you agree to become someone's mentor, consider the following:

• Always meet the person in person first.
• Agree to become his mentor only if it seems like an appropriate solution.
• Learn more about the person by questioning your network of contacts.
• Check out the person on social media.

If you think you can't mentor a person, tell them right away so you don't waste their time and your own.

How to manage the process?

The person to be mentored must describe:

• Your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your goals.
• Your ideas, conflicts and decisions.
• The reasons why he wants to learn from you.

Each mentoring will be different. Typically, the process involves the following actions:

• Discuss your mistakes and successes.
• Share what you would like to know when you start your career.
• Connecting the person you are mentoring with people who would be helpful.
• Providing information on how you make decisions, resolve conflicts and make plans.
• You look at things from the point of view of the person you are mentoring and give feedback from your point of view.

In addition, you need to decide when, where and how the mentoring will take place. Consider the following questions:

• When and how often will you meet?
• Will you give assignments or just talk about the approaches you use?
• Will you evaluate the process formally or will you occasionally discuss whether your relationship is still mutually beneficial?

Over time, your mentor's career will develop. At some point he will not need a mentor. This is the moment when your relationship can grow into a friendship.

How to become an amazing mentor?

1. Define expectations and set clear rules

When you meet your protégé, calmly explain your role. Answer the questions he may have about the mentoring process.
Explain what you expect from him (prepare problems to solve, come on time, etc.).
Explain what you will do for him: you will be his coach, teacher and expect an open relationship.

2. Assess the needs of the person you are going to mentor

Ask him out well if he is no longer absorbed in the connection. In which area does he want to acquire skills? Which of your current skills does he want to improve?

3. Let your protégé make his own decisions

Mentors are more experienced and know more than the people they help. It's easiest to just tell your protégé what to do. But this is not the right decision.
He needs to learn how to think and how to deal with challenges.

4. Set expectations from the beginning

Both you and your mentor will find it helpful to sit down and take the time to discuss your expectations - especially if you don't know each other well.

5. Take an interest in your protégé as a person

The mentor / protégé relationship is very personal. You can give mediocre advice without knowing the person well, but if you want to be a really good mentor, you will have to get to know him and advise him on a personal level.

6. You need to know when to wait before giving advice

When you are someone's mentor, you may feel compelled to give advice as quickly as possible. But not every feedback is helpful, and giving feedback that is not helpful or unwanted can negatively affect your relationship.

7. Improve your emotional intelligence

Being emotionally intelligent is important to being an effective mentor. Every time you become someone's mentor, you will find that you begin to get to know him - what he wants, what he needs, what are the experiences that shaped them, how he copes with different situations.

8. Don't guess, ask

It is easy to indulge in stereotypes and not look at the situation from someone else's point of view. But good mentors acknowledge that it is their responsibility to deal with ingrained views by asking questions. This is especially important if you are mentoring a person who is just starting their career development, or if you do not know him well.

9. Acknowledge the mistakes you made

If you are open and share your own mistakes and failures, your mentor will receive a lot of valuable and useful information. This will help strengthen your relationship.

10. Celebrate success

Many people seek help from a mentor to help them get out of a difficult situation, so more mentoring conversations revolve around negative things. Taking the time to emphasize and even celebrate your mentor's successes and achievements will not only balance your mood, but also help him build confidence, encourage good behavior, and keep him focused and motivated.

11. Help your mentor develop the skills he or she needs

Good mentors look for and even create situations in which their mentor can get involved in order to acquire skills that they will need in the future.

12. Work towards long-term goals

Work with the person you are mentoring as if you are going to be his mentor forever. This way of thinking will help you give him long-term advice. And he will learn to make decisions that will outlive your mentoring relationship.

13. Be a role model

Be a positive role model. The person you are mentoring can learn so much just by watching you. It will gather information about your ethics, values, standards, work style, beliefs and methods. He has a great chance to follow your example, to adapt your approach to his own style and to build confidence because of his relationship with you.

14. Be committed

Being a mentor is a constant commitment. If you offer help to someone, you should be available at all times.

15. Listen carefully

One of your main tasks as a mentor is to give advice, but to do so, you need to take the time to listen and understand the situation.

16. Build a network of contacts

Today, most successful people build relationships and gather knowledge from experts in a variety of industries. To be a good mentor, you need to keep building your network of contacts and taking advice from people you trust.

17. Be patient

Mentoring is a long and sometimes difficult process. Your mentor needs guidance, and sometimes you will need to make constructive criticism, which is not always easy to accept. That is why it is important to be patient and not give in to emotions.

18. Find out what motivates the person you are mentoring

By identifying the interests and factors that motivate your mentor - outside of external rewards - you will understand what his incentive is.

19. Develop your protégé's strategic thinking skills

Strategic thinking is important if you want to develop your career. As a mentor, you can be a model of strategic thinking or direct your protégé to sources of information that will help him develop his strategic thinking.

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