Our mission at the Over My Shoulder Foundation is to spread the word on the power of mentoring, both cross-culturally and cross-generationally. Unfortunately, the art of mentoring is not embraced enough, which typically affects the younger generation. We all have useful skills and experiences to pass along to others that could prove to be extremely beneficial in guiding a young person in his or her career path or personal development.
Whether you have been asked to be a mentor or would like to see a younger person reach his or her highest potential, here are five ways on how to be an effective mentor:
- Know what your “super power” is and use your skill to teach others. By leveraging your expertise in a particular area, you can offer your knowledge and skills to others, without being condescending.
- Be respectful of others’ time. While your time is very important and often limited, the same is true for others that you are mentoring as well. Arrive for meetings on time. Share your wisdom, but be careful to not monopolize the conversation.
- It’s not just about you. Your goal as a mentor is to help others. By listening to what they need and guiding them along the way, it can be a very rewarding process for you as well.
- Introduce influencers that can positively impact the person you are mentoring. We have all benefited along the way from being introduced to a center of influence in our industries.
- Check in regularly. All too often a mentoring relationship is established, but several months go by between conversations. If you can’t meet in person, try using Skype or FaceTime.
What advice do you have for how to be an effective mentor?