Every successful professional can recall the exact moment when the "seed" to succeed was planted by their mentor.
In most cases it was that moment you and someone kind enough to help your career forged a bond in mentorship. That one person you fondly remember as your first (and maybe only) mentor was the catalyst that woke you up to the potential that lay within your mind and soul. Your mentor was the person who showed you what you could become with effort and attentive skills to listen and apply those golden nuggets of advice and wisdom.
Now it is your turn to, "pay it forward" as they say. Where to begin? That eager and youthful face is staring at you with an eagerness that beckons you to help a young and inexperienced soul learn the ropes of the employment market.
Take a deep breath and set your jaw squarely!
Identify and Establish Communication Needs
Tip #1: Always actively listen!
Tip #2: Always be authentic in sharing your thoughts and feelings
Tip #3: Instill accountability and follow up regularly.
Tip #4: Focus on mentee's learning goals and learning needs
Establish, Address and Foster Social and Professional Needs
Tip #5: Invest and exert effort in establishing a healthy climate for learning.
Tip# 6: Ascertain and exercise multiple methods of communication.
Tip #7: Set aside important one-on-one time with the mentee.
Tip #8: Validate that communication effort is resulting in effective and meaningful learning.
Tip #9: Provide hands-on training and all of the resources available at your disposal.
Tip #10: Remove Power & Command to foster the learning environment. The mentee must feel he or she can take risks without fear of reprisal. By removing this obstacle (yes, it's an obstacle within the mentor/mentee learning environment) you remove anxiousness and foster a sense of safety and acceptance.
Encourage Mentee to Establish a Record of Experience
Tip #11: by having the mentee keep a journal of his or her mentoring experience they, too, will one day have a record in which to draw upon to "pay it forward."
Tip #12: Encourage the mentee to express, both verbally and in written form (remember, they have a journal of their experience, right?), their experiences in learning and how they can apply their learning to the work environment and in their personal lives.
Mentoring has been an ongoing practice throughout history and people continue to realize the importance and gratification that comes with investing in others. The intelligent manager will realize that by investing in mentoring those around them they also invest within the organization they all work within. Effective mentoring is a powerful leverage between product and services and human capital -- taking care of one serves to support the other two areas that are critical for business prosperity.
And finally, why should you place a high premium on mentoring?
* Mentoring provides you with a link to the younger generation and what changes are happening within the industry and business sector.
* Continued rapport with your mentee facilitates a renewal/sharpening of your communicative skills.
* Mentoring is an excellent vehicle in which to transfer corporate knowledge.
* Leverage your knowledge and experience to better prepare the organization for the future.
* You can tailor the transfer of information and knowledge to the most pressing issues and needs of the organization.
And, it feels really wonderful to help another soul.
Try it sometime!
[About the Author: Phil Robles is an IT professional with over 15 years experience working numerous IT roles within 5 major industries. He is also a business owner (DaVinciworks™ & SMEOracle™). Phil is an Air Force veteran, has a B.S. Social Psychology degree from Park University, a Master, Information Systems degree from University of Phoenix, AZ, and is currently working on his Doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership with a specialty in IT Services, University of Phoenix, AZ.]