Can you imagine meeting an entrepreneur who wants to learn all about how you achieved success as a business owner?
This entrepreneur is eager – with a noticeable passion – and yearns to discover how you charted your path to progress. They want to know the highs, lows, ebbs and flows of your professional life. They are willing to listen to your advice, apply it in running their businesses and go the distance to achieve true success.
You have the power to teach them and help them to become stronger entrepreneurs. And you can help them to reach their fullest potential.
This process, aptly called mentoring, involves a series of steps to success. Your mentee gets the best guidance from you, and knowing that you helped them becomes the best reward.
Here’s why mentoring can be magical and why you can choose to do it:
Mentoring Develops Your Leadership and Management Skills
The mentoring journey presents a great chance to learn about and work on some key things: your communication, leadership and management skills.
What communication style — verbal, written or nonverbal — is most effective for you? What about your teaching or leadership style does your mentee respond to the most? Are you able to make an emotional connection with a mentee that really helps your business relationship grow?
Throughout the introductory and relationship-building stages of the mentoring cycle, you can gain some super-helpful insights about your strengths and weaknesses as a communicator, leader and manager.
You can take this process one step further and start a journal recording each interaction that you have with your mentee. It’s important to write down a few things: how that encounter made you feel, how you approached your mentee’s problem or questions as well as how your mentee responded to you and your advice. Please make sure to go back and look through your entries every few weeks to identify any patterns of behavior that are working and not working.
Mentors Learn a lot from their Mentees
When entering the growth stage of the mentoring cycle, a mentor and mentee should have a pretty comfortable relationship. At that point, it becomes easier to treat mentoring like a two-way street. In other words, mentors may begin learning and picking up stuff from their mentees.
Perhaps you suggest an old solution to a still-current problem that your mentee faces on a regular basis. Your solution may have worked in the past, but with today’s constantly evolving technology, it may not exactly be the appropriate path to take now. Why not listen to some of your mentee’s ideas and perspective? You can mix your expertise with their fresh concepts and make magic!
It is important to remember that needing some guidance about a particular field does not mean being completely uninformed about that field. Mentors must keep an open mind when it comes to talking through solutions for pain points, so that you can create a true exchange of information with your mentee. Encourage your mentee to make contributions to their success.
Mentoring Can Help You to Expand Your Network
Mentees can become fans and advocates of their mentors, right?
Perhaps your mentee is so impressed by you that he or she spreads the word about your awesomeness. He or she may tell a business partner, associate or their connections on LinkedIn. The more people who learn about you and your business, the more potential mentees that you may have down the road (not to mention more business connections.)
If you mentee recommends you to someone else, then please make sure to follow up with the new person. This way, you can also work on your networking skills.
Mentees will set goals that you help them to achieve, but don’t forget to set your own personal goals as a mentor. Write down a “mentoring bucket list” of things to accomplish throughout your mentoring career and get to crossing things off that list. With each crossed-out accomplishment, you will have achieved something great and found a reward.
If you feel that you’d like to discover the magic of mentoring, register your profile for free on New Shifts today or browse some of the local companies that may be seeking your kind of experience to help them grow.