Whether you are at the top of your field or climbing the ladder, it’s likely you have a wealth of information and experience to share with others.
Mentors create an immeasurable impact both for those just beginning their careers, as well as those who are mid-level and above. Having someone to turn to who has been there can help clarify situations, save time, avoid missteps, fill knowledge gaps, and navigate the profession. These tips will help you be the best mentor you can be:
- Be both a mentor and a mentee. Your mentor can be anyone, even a peer in the same or a different profession. Successful people build relationships and network at all levels, and gather intelligence across industries. Reverse mentoring, in which a junior person teaches a more senior colleague, can be beneficial, especially in gaining a younger perspective and embracing newer technologies.
- Care about the relationship and tend to it. It can be time consuming, but to provide advice and encouragement, you need to listen intently and understand the situation. Talking about issues will help your mentees sort through any confusion, and assist you in shaping the advice you plan to share.
And you, as well as your organization or institution, can benefit greatly from your experience. “By investing in others you’re also investing in yourself,” Ryan Kahn, a career coach, told Forbes. “For example, as you move forward in your career, you’ll need to be able to identify and recruit fresh talent. Having a strong network of mentees can help you find and grow rising stars.”
In an industry that is all about giving, think about giving of yourself: your knowledge, your experience, and your time to someone in your field. As David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach and author told Forbes, when it comes to mentorship, it is an unwritten rule that “one should give back at least what they’ve received.”
For more mentoring tips, please see How To Be A Great Mentor.