The Trusted Advisor.
How to be a Great Mentor!
What if all of us had to [re]invent the wheel?
What would our progress look like?
Fortunately, we are the beneficiaries of shared knowledge. The true intention of Mentorship is to share knowledge, best practices, and empowerment. Mentoring plays a critical role in the uplift and progression of every individual’s life and every society.
Here is what I learned as a Toastmasters Mentor.
Effective Mentoring demands relationship building. It demands structure and discipline from both the Mentor and Mentee. The success of Mentorship is pronounced when both the Mentor and Mentee take responsibility for making the relationship flourish. Success is a direct result.
Mentoring will never create collateral or automatic success.
Mentoring is a deliberate act.
A great Mentor must have the character and desire to help others to develop personal skills. That interaction includes actively listening and asking open-ended questions. A great Mentor must commit to developing a Mentor-Mentee relationship.
A willing Mentee must also commit to developing the relationship. They must exhibit a learning attitude; open and prepared to explore different paths and perspectives. A willing Mentee must be ready to ask for help and show vulnerability.
The most important principle of the Mentorship is that the Mentor becomes the trusted advisor. The second most important principle is that the Mentor is never the hired hand of the Mentee. When the bond, or relationship, between Mentor and Mentee, becomes strong and dependable, the Mentor naturally transcends to the level of Trusted Advisor. It is at this moment that solidifies the relationship.
The Mentor’s role is an advisory role; giving feedback, sharing experiences. The Mentor is the coach, the connector, the cheerleader and the challenger.
The next step after becoming the trusted advisor is to work with or teach, the Mentee to set goals and expectations. In this phase, you begin to educate your Mentee.
Remember, before a journey, you must know your destination. Otherwise, you will spend an eternity meandering. In textbook terms, you are helping the Mentee in creating a vision. The Mentee must be able to articulate and develop the vision, establish what matters and explain why, to set direction, and inspire others.
A Mentor is responsible for helping a Mentee develop a growth mindset.
A Mentee with a growth mindset believes in their ability to transform. To nurture a growth mindset, the Mentor must share experiences and what-if scenarios with the Mentee. It trains the Mentee to think differently, consider different perspectives, and explore different paths. This also allows the Mentee to show necessary vulnerability; asking for help when needed!
As the Mentor or the Trusted Advisor, you have set up a sequence of events through the Mentee. The dictionary term for this is “empowerment.” (Defined in the dictionary as “The process of supporting another person to discover and claim personal power.”)
Mentoring is a rewarding experience. Mentoring is a powerful tool in anyone’s personal or professional growth. Being a Mentor, you'll not only find the best version of yourself, but you will have gained a life-long friend and supporter in the process.
There is a quote from William Arthur Ward that I altered to apply to Mentors:
The mediocre Mentor tells.
The good Mentor explains.
The superior Mentor demonstrates.
The great Mentor inspires.