Mentoring programs are a valuable option for professionals looking to enhance their career experience. From a mentoring program, individuals gain confidence, learn new skills, improve on performance, and so much more. While Menttium’s corporate mentoring services consist of many tools and resources, one of the most critical aspects is the mentor.
At Menttium, we rely on our skilled interviewers, rather than a computer algorithm, to make quality matches that result in critical dialogues and skill development for both the mentor and mentee. Our mentors have certain qualities that allow them to provide support to their mentees throughout the program, ultimately helping them succeed in achieving their professional and personal goals.
There is no secret formula that will transform a person into a good mentor, but there are key indicators that a seasoned business leader will succeed, such as willingness to provide feedback, a positive attitude, and respect for continuing education and learning opportunities. Possessing these qualities not only benefits mentors personally; it helps mentees thrive and succeed during the program. Here are some essential traits we look for in our mentors.
The platitude is true—attitude is everything. A negative or pessimistic outlook can create an atmosphere of distrust between mentor and mentee, which may leave the mentee less empowered and more worried about his or her ability to enjoy work and the company culture. A positive attitude solidifies the mentoring relationship and works to build up a mentee. Exhibiting a positive attitude will also “lead by example,” showing a mentee that he or she can overcome stressful situations and forge a path to success.
The mentor-mentee partnership is at the heart of our corporate mentoring programs. Mentors act as a source of advice for mentees as they strive to overcome obstacles and challenges in the workplace, and should therefore be trustworthy and responsible. That means maintaining confidentiality and providing an environment of emotional safety in which a mentee can be authentic and vulnerable.
Without a dedicated guide to encourage them, mentees may feel like they’re just going through the motions and not getting as much as they could out of the partnership. Good mentors know the value of these connections and work to ensure that theirs are thriving with their mentees.
As a mentor, being open and honest with a mentee is key to establishing a space for authentic, productive dialogue. A mentee looks up to his or her mentor as a source of wisdom and guidance, hoping to gain knowledge of the industry and of his or her company. Professional experiences and life lessons are wonderful sources of wisdom that can inform the mentee’s career choices moving forward. A good mentor shares the good and the bad, and genuinely wants the mentee to learn from them and go on to succeed by reaching his or her own goals..
Perhaps the mentor had a negative experience and would have chosen a different path at some point—this is an opportunity to share those learnings. Whatever the nature of the mentor’s experience, he or she should be an effective storyteller—conveying the key learnings of each situation without pontificating or going off-topic. Generally, mentors should move through a story by introducing the conflict, explaining what inspired them to overcome it, analyzing the positive outcomes, and ending with applicable takeaways. Sticking to this method of storytelling leaves plenty of room for collaborative learning and powerful dialogue with the mentee.
The mentee isn’t the only one who gains something from completing a mentoring program. The partnership goes both ways! Skilled mentors value their own continuing education and learning, and end up gaining valuable insights from their mentees.
In many cases, for instance, the mentor will likely be of a different generation than the mentee. This can provide an excellent opportunity for the mentor to connect with someone who has had vastly different life experiences. This kind of mentor-mentee dynamic can result in valuable takeaways, such as improved communication, informed conflict management, and new engagement techniques. Spending time with younger professionals broadens the mind and helps mentors become even better leaders.
Mentees look to their mentor for guidance and advice. In return, mentors provide feedback to their mentees and help them find solutions to problems they may encounter in the workplace. Providing feedback and guidance to mentees unlocks their potential and helps shape them as they continue to grow into corporate leadership roles.
During the mentorship program, mentors engage in and conduct meaningful dialogues with their mentees. This essential communication is facilitated by mentors asking powerful and thought-provoking questions. These queries should enable careful reflection and open up the conversation, rather than limit it to yes or no responses. Ultimately, a mentor’s insightful questions leave room for defining next steps with the mentee while encouraging him or her to think creatively.
At Menttium, we cultivate valuable mentor-mentee relationships. Our skilled interviewers make sure that mentees are matched perfectly the first time around by matching them with intent—no computer algorithms involved. Providing mentees with a high-quality mentor is crucial to their learning and having a valuable experience throughout a mentoring program. At Menttium, we believe in the power of the point of difference, so we match mentees with mentors who can help them achieve their development goals and help them see the world through different lenses.
Mentoring a high-potential employee can be extremely rewarding. Mentors get to see their mentees thrive and succeed in the workplace and take pride in knowing that they helped them achieve their professional goals. Whether you are the mentor, the mentee, or the executive hoping to institute a valuable mentoring program at your company, Menttium offers just the thing for unlocking the full potential of employees. Contact us today to learn more about what Menttium has to offer.