One of the fastest way to successfully complete an assignment, a task or a goal you have never attempted is to find people who have successfully completed the same in the past, and learn from them. Finding someone with positive results in line with what you are trying to accomplish will save you resources, primarily time and energy. That someone would be a mentor or a coach.
Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. John Crosby
It is easier to be a mentor than many people think. If you have been successful (had desired results) in any aspect or project in your life before, you can mentor someone to get the same results. Drawing from my personal experiences, here are 3 ways to become an effective mentor.
- Become an active listener. Listening is an essential part of communication, which is as important as speaking. It is amazing how much people who are shy or timid can speak when they are actively listened to. To be an effective mentor, you need to listen carefully and with your full attention when you are spoken to. The hardest part of listening is concentrating on what message the other party is communicating, without formulating a response by thinking ahead of the spoken words. Humans think faster than they speak and sometimes that does not help when listening. Involving your whole body and being attentive during listening will surely make your mentee feel important and build his confidence in solving the challenges faced.
- Speak about what have practical experience in. A heart surgeon cannot effectively mentor a college graduate on how to start a business, unless he has started and run a business. When giving advice to your mentees, draw from your successful personal experiences as much as you can. If you are asked advice about an area you do not have experience in, refer your mentee to someone you know who can help him better. Remember your objective as a mentor is save as much time as possible to your mentor in achieving his or her desired results.
- Lead the discussion. As soon as you understand what challenges are faced or solutions your mentee needs, take charge of the discussion by asking strategic questions that will help lead him to a moment of truth. An effective mentor must always speak from the perspective of his mentee, who probably already has the answers but needs someone to help bring them to his consciousness.
Mentoring is fulfilling and rewarding when it is done effectively and positive results follow. If you have been successful as a mentor, what methods have you used? What makes you an effective mentor? Share if you would.