“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Mentoring is available in many organizations to foster relationships and skill development, increase self-confidence, and enhance performance and productivity.
In my professional career, as a coach and trainer I have had many mentors that have provided me with specific insights to enhance my performance. These have been very helpful. I have also served as a mentor for many others.
To be a successful mentor/coach these qualities are useful to adopt:
- Be positive, motivated, interesting, confident and
- Adopt an attitude that we are in this together.
- Honor and validate the mentee’s contribution and acknowledge that the more we serve others the more we will serve ourselves.
- Value being really present with the mentee, actively listening, demonstrating interest, and Reflect or mirror back to the mentee what they have said to you, to clarify meaning.
- Commit, believe and expect that you will both win when you share your knowledge, experience, insights, expertise and skills in a genuine and supportive way, without considering something in return. What you will receive in return will ultimately be massive in the big scheme of things.
- See a grander vision that improved communication will break down many barriers and lead to a better world.
- Provide a fresh, objective perspective that allows the mentee to see greater opportunities by asking him/her open questions. These may include: “Why do you want to do what you want to do?” “What will this then allow you to do?” What will you then be, do and have?”
- Offer very specific and relevant assistance to the mentee in a timely manner when it is sought by the mentee. Encourage the mentee to be proactive about what they need to move forward with their career or business. Ask, “How can I help you to….?”
- Provide a conducive, friendly atmosphere and a structured process. Set the parameters for the interaction. This will allow any challenging situations to be managed and overcome. It allows the mentee to feel that they can take risks more easily, relax and enjoy the session. It also allows the relationship to grow and sustain over time.
- Provide support when the mentee feel overwhelmed, too far outside his/her comfort zone or frustrated with his/her perceived lack of progress. It is often that gentle urging to continue, that enables the greatest momentum for the mentee. Say, “Tell me about a time when things went well for you?”
- Give positive feedback and offer suggestions for taking the next steps in mastering the new skill, strategy, implementing new ideas or in succession planning. Say, “I have a few ideas that might help you to….”, or “I liked the way you….”, or “Have you ever considered….”, or “May I show you how to….”
- Encourage the mentee to use the time together for cathartic release, if needed, to overcome limiting thoughts or Ask, “Where would you be without that thought?”
- Give the opportunity for experiences such as reflection, making discoveries, making decisions or solving problems. Encourage the challenging of currently held assumptions. Ask, “How do you know this is true?”
Mentoring serves a very useful purpose in many associations and businesses. There is an ability to heighten self-confidence and growth relationships and networks. The mentor and mentee are also able to learn and expand on many useful skills, as long as they keep an open mind, and are ready to discover new opportunities and enjoy the experience!
About the Author
GayeLouise O’Brien shares insights from her International Best-Selling book, “NLP Essentials for Teachers”. She is a Life and Business Coach, Time Line Therapist, Hypnotherapist and Certified NLP Trainer. As a catalyst for transformational change, GayeLouise explores her journey in an inspirational, educational and entertaining way, with businesses and individuals who desire to make their greatest contribution to the planet and co-create a more enlightened world.