If you’re working in any business-related industry, there are certain keys to success that you have to learn in order to thrive and get ahead no matter the nature of your profession. And this is something that all successful leaders have to learn.
The truth is, most of the world’s successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of working with other industry leaders, and this also includes leveraging the help of industry mentors.
Developing a mentorship program is also one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. And having the title of “Mentor” can earn you more respect than you probably think.
A successful mentorship program begins with the will to shape the leaders of tomorrow. And this also has to include a passion for helping others achieve their goals.
If you’re thinking of developing a mentorship program, the following will provide some helpful tips for you to consider.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
When you first begin your mentoring program, your first instinct might be to spoon-feed your mentee all of the knowledge you’ve absorbed over the years of your professional life. But be advised, this is one of the most common pitfalls that lead to a disastrous mentorship program.
Simply regurgitating all of the knowledge you’ve gained can be overwhelming to a junior associate or an apprentice. And it may actually deter them from pursuing any goals if you dump all of your knowledge on them at once.
As a best practice, offer your expertise little by little. And allow your mentee to absorb the knowledge and understand it before moving forward.
Additionally, a good leader sets the bar high and nurtures the student toward meeting the ultimate goal. No matter what the ultimate goal may be, whether this is to attain greater knowledge in a particular area, becoming a better manager, or anything else, good mentorship empowers the mentee to critically think for themselves.
Setting Clear Expectations
Early on in your mentorship, you’ll want to set clear expectations for your mentee. This not only gives you a metric that you can use to chart your mentee’s progress, it also sets standards that your mentee is expected to adhere to.
Many times a new mentor will be so excited to get right into career advice and coaching that no clear expectations or goals are ever set. And this essentially creates a cloudy relationship between you and your mentee right from the start.
A few expectations you might consider implementing are as follows:
- Confidentiality agreements
- Performance grading
- Specific goals
- Deadlines for exercises
- Daily quotas
- General relationship guidelines
- Communication guidelines
The more clear and up-front you are with your mentee right from the start, the better your relationship going forward will be. And this will not only benefit you, but it will also benefit all of your mentees as well.
Considering Your Own Needs
While most professionals choose to become a mentor simply to share knowledge and shape the minds of the future, many don’t consider their own needs or benefits.
One of the first things that you should outline is your own set of goals that you hope to meet from your mentorship service. And this can vary widely depending on what type of a mentor you are and what type of industry you’re in.
Your own needs are just as important as the needs of your mentee. And believe it or not, but by establishing your own rules and understanding what you hope to gain, can greatly assist you in developing your mentorship program, and each level of it.
A mentor is someone with advanced knowledge in a specific industry. And without mentors in today’s business world, it’s hard to get ahead and place yourself above the competition. Even if you never had a mentor when you began your career, you have to ask yourself, where do you think you’d be now if you did?