A guide to mentoring

01/10/17

What does it mean to be a mentor? I don’t have a definitive answer to this. I believe being a mentor, if that’s your true intention, resonates within the individual.

Support, lead, and coach – these three aspects are what sum up my own personal take as a mentee, however they wouldn’t really summarise what it means to have a mentor. To be quite frank it’s a lot more than that. 

Here are some characteristics of a mentor...

Support

Absolutely. Understanding your employee(s) support needs is a key element in being able to provide them effective mentorship. Being able to use these support needs to identify areas of development whilst you offer that support will intrinsically provide your mentee with the tools they need to drive their own development, both personally and professionally. 

Leadership

Leadership comes in many forms - show it and own it. You earn the right to become a mentor. It’s not a promotion that is given to you. It’s not a job ad you apply for on seek. Not only do you select your mentee, but they’ve also selected you as their mentor. Lead by example. 

Coach

This requires time and effort. You will need to make time in your schedule to provide coaching for your mentee whether it’s in a one-to-one setting or during an informal coffee. Provide them with the direction they need to keep them on track to achieve their career goals. Take the time to advise them and reflect on your own experiences - your time and insight will be greatly appreciated. You get to reap the rewards when you witness your mentee putting your advice into practice. 

Feedback

I’ve added this as a bonus feature. Bring all your teachings together with constant constructive feedback. Acknowledge the changes your mentee has made, the hours they’ve put in and the achievements they’ve accomplished. At the same time, do not by any means shy away from calling them out on their shortcomings – this more than anything is the added value you can give your mentee as constructive criticism identifies areas of improvement.

I’ve been lucky enough to partner with amazing mentors through our programs. Every day I am blown away by their efforts to go the extra mile in providing a fresh graduate with support, leadership, coaching and feedback. They help each other towards success in their individual career goals.

It’s never too late to become a mentor and it’s never too late to be mentored. Self-development is about continuous development. If you are as lucky as I am, you will have someone take the time to mentor you. Whatever stage you are at in your career, embrace it as much as you can.

Being a mentor can be an exciting and rewarding experience and can help you develop professionally. Why not take this next step in your career and mentor an intern for 12 weeks? Becoming a host company is free and we will help you come up with a training plan for you and your intern. 

Interested to find out more about how hosting an intern could be as equally rewarding for your company? We’d love to chat – contact us today to find out more.

You might also like

How to Structure an Internship Program

Hosting an intern is an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone involved. It can be even more rewarding with a well thought out internship program that is repeatable and predictable. Here are some ideas on how you can create one.

Read more

5 Ways A Business With Interns Can Prosper

During our time in the internship space, we have had the opportunity to provide thousands of Graduates with valuable Work Experience. Across a range of industries we have connected Host Companies with candidates, who have had the chance to grow and learn beyond what they thought they were capable of.

Read more