5 ways to be an effective mentor


Becoming a mentor to an intern is a milestone for employees who have their eyes set on being promoted to a managerial position. You should strive to develop a productive relationship with your mentee where they learn by your example and aspire to be like you.

Like any other relationship, a good mentor-mentee relationship requires respect and trust from both individuals. You should be able to answer your mentees questions properly and provide adequate support when they are faced with unfamiliar tasks and situations.

As a mentor, you are required to take genuine interest in your mentees. Learn about their motivation and what they want out of this internship. Their goals should become a part of your goals. To avoid any unnecessary confusion you should also make your expectations from them crystal clear.

Your aim should be to develop a relationship of trust and comfort. Your mentee should be able to come to you with questions and trust you to help them when it is required. In the meantime, be aware that your mentee’s progress is a reflection of your leadership.

Here are 5 ways you can be an effective mentor:

1. Share your skills, knowledge, and expertise

It is easy to get frustrated with someone who is not as skilled at their job as you. Realize that your mentee has limited experience; it is now your job to impart knowledge and arm them with skills and expertise necessary for their progress. Think of when you first started off and what you would have liked from your mentors and managers along the way.

As a mentor, it becomes your responsibility to share skills and knowledge that will help your mentee gain the most from their internship and grow in their careers.

2. Positive attitude

When interns first join, they are always pumped with energy. However, along the way depending on the type of tasks they have been assigned and their relationship with their bosses, their attitude towards their work changes.

To be a good mentor, you are going to have to exhibit a positive attitude towards your work and colleagues. You need to demonstrate all that is needed to be successful in their careers.

The ability to cope with stress is a key indicator of achieving success at the workplace. Seeing you stressed will leave your mentee flustered but a calm and strong-headed leader will motivate them to put their best foot forward.

Inform your mentee when you are under pressure then work together to determine ways they can help you. They will appreciate that you are showing trust in them. When the work piles up and deadlines are getting closer, sit down with your mentee and tell them which tasks to prioritize. Provide them with guidance on more difficult tasks. Instead of letting them get overwhelmed by the situation, help them be confident in your approach to problems.

3. Empower your mentee

Delegate independent tasks to your mentee and give them the authority to make decisions. When they are trusted with important tasks, mentees feel valued. They appreciate that their time is being well spent and that they are making significant contributions.

Encourage them to get involved in initiatives within the company that you feel they will benefit from.

4. Provide guidance and feedback

If you think you are protecting your mentee by not being critical about their work then you are mistaken. Your mentee needs to be informed about their errors in order to improve. It is through constructive criticism that your mentee identifies their strengths and weaknesses. Once their weaknesses are acknowledged, they can work on improving them.

As a mentor, you need to figure out the personality style of your mentee to determine the best way to give them feedback. Some people handle negative feedback very well, while other get defensive and demotivated.

5. Set a good example

You should aim to emerge as a role model to your mentee so make sure you constantly display professionalism.

Come to work on time. When your mentees see that you don’t respect work hours then they feel that this is acceptable behavior.

As a business professional you shouldn’t be engaging in gossip anyway but when you are around your mentee be more vigilant. Gossip is unnecessary negativity that shouldn’t be present in a work environment. Seeing you gossip gives your mentee the green light to also engage in unprofessional behavior that can interfere with their productivity at work.

Not all offices enforce strict dress codes but the majority of them do expect employees to be dressed smartly at work. Ensure yourblouses are not too tight with plunging necklines and your skirt/dresses are of appropriate length.

During the course of your career, you’ll be assigned several mentees and many subordinates. They may have such an impact on your life but you could leave a lasting imprint on theirs, so try and make it a positive one.

About Zyana Morris

Zyana Morris is a passionate Health and Lifestyle blogger who is most interested in writing topics related to wellness and Lifestyle.

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