“The key to being a good mentor is to help people become more of who they already are – not to make them more like you.”
The traditional view of a mentor is someone who shares experience and imparts knowledge. In contemporary mentoring a mentor does a lot more listening than talking. A mentor’s role isn’t to tell a mentee what to do, it is to act as a guide. A mentor asks questions and draws out the mentee’s own thoughts before offering advice and providing additional options.
A mentor also challenges, offers a different perspective, another point of view and provides support. While no two mentoring relationships are the same, all mentoring relationships should start with the same solid foundations:
Elicit – ask questions then listen
Challenge – provide a different perspective
Support – encourage and validate
Impart – share knowledge and experience
A mentor never “pushes” by telling, instructing or giving advice
American author, John C. Maxwell, once commented: “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see, and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
Essentially, the role of a mentor is suited to:
The many benefits of mentoring for both the Mentor and the Mentee include increased confidence, transformation, motivation, innovation, productivity, collaboration, recognition, appreciation, engagement and fulfilment.
Sometimes all a mentee needs is to talk to someone and this process in itself will make actions and solutions obvious. The mentoring process then simply becomes a catalyst for change.
If you would like to become a CIOL mentor and help others reach their goals, log in to My CIOL and follow this link to find out more and set up your profile.