As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself playing the role of a mentor to someone, whether that be to a new employee, new potential partner or even a close friend. And while it can be an exciting and rewarding role, it can also be a little daunting figuring out what it means to be someone’s mentor and how you can stand out in the role.
Being a mentor can mean a lot of different things, but it mainly comes down to being available to support and advise someone when they need it.
Although it can be time-consuming, being a mentor to someone who, for example, has just started working for your business can be beneficial for both involved. It can help the new employee settle into their job and climb the learning curve faster, saving you, the entrepreneur, precious time that can be used elsewhere in the business. Here are some tips on how to be a memorable mentor:
Approach each mentorship differently
Every mentor/mentee relationship is unique. Assess your own style and think about the kind of commitment you can and want to make to your mentee.
Set expectations together
It can be helpful for both you and your mentee to go over expectations together. Understanding exactly where each other is coming from will help drive your discussion in the direction that’s helpful for both of you.
Don’t assume anything about your mentee
It can be easy to stereotype and not see a situation from another person’s point of view. But good mentors realise this and try to break through these common assumptions by asking questions.
Celebrate their achievements
Since people often turn to a mentor to help with difficult situations, many conversations you have with your mentee may revolve around the negative stuff. Therefore, it is important to highlight and celebrate when your mentee is successful or achieves a goal to build their confidence, and keep them focused and motivated.
Lead by example
It is important to be a positive role model since a mentee will learn a whole lot from observing how you behave. They’ll soon learn what your ethics, values and standards are, and are more likely to follow your lead based on this.