Men-tor n. A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
By now most of you know the tremendous benefits of Developmental Coaching; to bring your team to the next level of performance. Mentoring is a great compliment to monthly Developmental Coaching. This is another way to help your team develop, grow and improve their overall performance. The interesting thing about Mentoring is it allows you to grow and improve as well.
As the definition above highlights, mentoring is a relationship between someone who is experienced and someone less experienced. The purpose of this partnership is to help the individual, with less experience, learn and grow from the mentor. Helping your team grow is your responsibility as a leader, but what about you? The magical thing is that as you mentor others it allows you to reflect on your life experiences and use them and your examples to help your people grow and learn. As you re-experience your knowledge and wisdom, you realize how far you have come and provides the opportunity for you to remember the mentors who have helped you achieve success throughout your life. Powerful for you as well as the less experienced person!
Consider adding mentoring to your leadership practices and be sure to keep the following in mind:
The relationship should focus on the person being mentored. This isn’t an opportunity for you to brag and blow your own horn. It’s about them, which means you have to accept them for whom they are and help them advance at their own pace.
If you think the people you are mentoring are incompetent or incapable; you need to change your perception and view them as an individual; valuable team mate lacking experience who needs your help and guidance. Remember, early in your career, you did not know what you know now. Think of those who were patient with you and shared their experience to help you make good and prudent decisions to move your career forward.
Don’t criticize or belittle, making them feel bad about themselves. Rather, help them to think through the consequences of their actions in order to help them identify positive ways to handle difficult situations. Teach them to identify problems or difficult situations and how to be part of its solution.
Hold yourself and them accountable by making them responsible and committed to their success while you commit with your time and ongoing support. Mentoring is a partnership, making that commitment to each other, the results will provide a “win-win” situation for you both.