A mentor should have the passion and commitment to teach someone else and oversee their development and growth. A mentor should also have all the necessary skills to be able to train, or effectively teach, new skills and pass on knowledge to an employee or someone outside the company. Mentors should also be able to communicate effectively to be able to verbally and nonverbally pass on information. The key to a quality mentorship relationship is honest and genuine feedback. As a mentor you must be willing take on the stewardship responsibility in order for the mentee to absorb all you have to share.
Communication is Key
Be gentle enough to accept questions and queries but, at the same time, be firm enough to insist on high quality performance at all times. As such, you should be able to communicate successes and failures when they occur in an effective manner. Pass on the enthusiasm for performing the tasks that are being taught and the resolve to want to constantly improve to the mentee. Be willing to adapt and find out the most effective way to transfer knowledge to different kinds of people. For example, some people learn better through clear instruction while others learn better through observing and mimicking the task from a mentor.
Set Aside Time
Be willing to allocate ample time to the mentorship process in order to be available to the mentee and ensure that the new skills and knowledge are being passed effectively and at an appropriate rate. You should have a flexible enough personality to be able to spend time with someone who has a different background, values and sensibilities than you. Test your mentee’s knowledge to make sure the expertise that you are passing along is sinking in.
It’s Not About You
Take your ego out of the equation when it comes to training a mentee. This should be a mutually beneficial relationship. If you cannot have a good relationship to pass on your expertise then you should communicate that perhaps someone else would be better suited as the mentor.
A good mentor should also be able to assess the willingness or eagerness of a mentee to learn from him/her.
A mentor should be able to look for the following qualities in a mentee.
The mentee should show an eagerness to want to improve. They also should acknowledge what you can show them or teach them.
The mentee should be clear that nothing is going to be handed to them and that they are being equipped to be a better professional. The mentee should not feel entitled just because they are under your tutelage and should demonstrate that they are absorbing what they are learning.
Your mentee should show that they are willing to put in the work to learn from you. They should show an extra willingness to do more than is required to learn. If you have a mentee who shows up late or keeps giving excuses, they are not ready for your mentorship.
About the author: Jack Dawson is a web developer and UI/UX specialist at BigDropInc.com. He works at design, branding and marketing firm. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with others.