How to Become a Mentor

A mentor can genuinely help another person achieve success.

If you have been in the business world for a while and are a trusted leader, you might be a great candidate for being a mentor. 

What is a Mentor?

First of all, let’s start by talking about what a mentor is.

A mentor offers insight into business, as they have gleaned information through experience and education. You could mentor a recent graduate or someone who may be new to your particular business.

Whatever you aspire to help a person with, here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction.

Time

You will want to determine what the mentee wants to get out of the mentorship.

Do they need a one-time talk, or do they want an ongoing, weekly, or monthly meeting? Will you meet for coffee or in your office, and for how long?

Decisions

Remember that even though you provide advice and direction based on your expertise, the mentee needs to be free to make their own decisions.

Don’t be offended if they do something you wouldn’t do. Maybe it will work out, or maybe they will learn the hard way. Don’t get discouraged. Your work is still valuable.

Evaluations

How will you two determine if the sessions are valuable and doing what they should be doing?

If your work has a formal program for a mentorship, fill out those papers and use them as a guide. If not, talk openly with the mentee about how often you two should evaluate the relationship.

Will you have an open discussion once every three months? Or will you each write an evaluation to give each other every month? Determine how often you think you need to evaluate the mentorship, then specify how to do it (written or verbal).

Boundaries

Develop clear boundaries so that it stays professional.

You might want to ask the mentee only to contact you at work rather than blowing up your phone during your free time.

Feedback

Be honest with the mentee, rather than tip-toeing around particular topics.

If you feel strongly about specific topics, offer constructive criticism so they can improve in those areas. Don’t be afraid to tell them honestly if you see them making classic mistakes. Let your experience be your guide.

Listen

Make sure you balance your advice with listening.

Many times, mentors think they are only there to provide direction. However, you are also there to listen. You are not to fix problems for them; rather, you are to answer their questions and lead them in a particular direction.

Be Honest.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your failures.

Sure, we like to talk about successes, but what we learned from failures is just as valuable.

Let your mentee know you aren’t perfect, but you learn from things that don’t go as planned. This should allow the mentee to open up about their shortcomings and ask honest questions.

Role Model.

Be a positive role model on the way to act in the office, how you answer emails, and how you treat your mentee. Be professional and talk about positive things regarding the business.

Now that you know how to be a mentor, we want to be here for you as a mentor in the printing world. There are so many options to be considered, and we are here to help you fine-tune your marketing materials. Check us out today!

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