The Gray Behind the Matter: the Mindset of a Successful Corporate Mentor
There is no shortage of general resources and commentary out there about what mentoring is and how a mentoring partnership can be successful. But if you are at a point in your career where you feel a desire to give back, share your knowledge, and mentor others, how do you get started and prepare to make a significant impact on the professional growth of the next generation of key talent?
When it comes to being a true leader, one of the biggest differentiators lies in having a results-oriented mindset. The same differentiator holds true when it comes to the most successful corporate mentors. We could provide every employee and potential mentor with books, lectures, and other resources dedicated to the art of being a successful mentor, but if a potential mentor’s approach doesn’t match their commitment, they could be missing key ingredients for success.
How Mindset Affects the Mentor-Mentee Relationship
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” His important words are very applicable to the mentoring relationship.
Studies have long noted the effect that attitude has on outcomes for individuals and in group settings. At Menttium, a positive, supportive and open mindset is essential for the success of corporate mentors. Once we’ve helped our mentors establish the right mentoring mindset, we can we begin to help them craft their own unique mentoring approach which draws upon their own “story” — their experiences and areas of expertise.
At Menttium, we strive to equip our mentors with the tools, resources, and community they need to thrive in their mentoring roles and maximize the impact they will have on their own mentees.
Developing the Ideal Mentor Mindset
As those who are familiar with our core philosophy at Menttium know, we believe the best mentoring partnerships are mentee-driven, mentor-guided. But within that framework, the training and resources we provide to our mentors allows them to best support the mentee in a formal structure focused on the mentee’s development goals. Listed below are a few key factors we focus on in mentor training.
Embrace Your Emotional Intelligence
Reading between the lines and managing emotional situations is just as important, if not more so, than managing any other set of data. It is easy to understand the high-level facts and context in a situation presented by the mentee, but mentors must draw upon their emotional intelligence skills to get at the heart of the mentee’s real challenges.
The qualities that make someone a great leader, no matter their title, will also make them a great mentor. But as we emphasize in our formal training webinars for mentors, a great mentor must be very intentional about maintaining an objective focus on the mentee’s goals; they must know when to just listen or reflect what they have heard from the mentee versus giving advice.
Our Emotional Intelligence business education session offered to our participants aids mentors and mentees by reviewing the five key components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, demonstrating empathy, and building relationships.
Create a Safe Environment
As participants in our program know well, trust is a critical component to a successful mentoring relationship. We encourage mentees and mentors to utilize the tools we provide to work on establishing a deep trust in each other at the outset of a partnership so that both can be vulnerable in admitting to past mistakes, setbacks, and areas of struggle. Significant growth can only occur in this type of safe, confidential, and open environment.
Leverage your Strength for Success
Once an honest, trusting partnership has been established with a laser focus on the goals the mentee has set out to achieve, the mentor can effectively begin sharing their stories at the right moments and leveraging their unique strengths to benefit the mentee. For example, a mentor who has developed a strong executive presence can talk openly about their challenges and growth in that important skill set for leaders, and challenge the mentee to get out of their comfort zone to achieve the leadership growth they seek.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
By maintaining a positive attitude throughout every partnership interaction, both mentors and mentees will enjoy a greater sense of optimism and willingness to persist in overcoming roadblocks to the mentee’s growth and development.
Continue to Evolve Your Mentoring Mindset with Menttium
In the spirit of lifelong learning, an effective mentoring mindset will continue to evolve. Menttium offers ongoing webinars and supplemental leadership learning sessions for our mentors and mentees,such as a special webinar held just last month on the Neuroscience of Better Feedback.
As our mentors tell us repeatedly, they continue to offer their time and expertise to mentees because they gain so much in return. Corporate mentoring benefits the mentor, mentee and the organization of both, often well beyond the twelve months of the formal partnership.
To learn more about becoming a mentor, or mentor development with Menttium, please don’t hesitate to contact us.