Business owners possess an abundance of knowledge – knowledge that’s been acquired over a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Through all of the trials and tribulations that come with the day-to-day tasks of running your own company, you acquire lessons that, believe it or not, contain a lot of value for younger counterparts. That being said, becoming a mentor is an attractive choice for many entrepreneurs. Not only do you receive the gratification of investing in someone’s success, you also get to revisit your most significant past experiences – a sort of “refresher course” on life’s great lessons. However, with the ability to shape someone’s present and future, becoming a mentor is not to be taken lightly. Here’s a list of tips to achieve mentorship success:
Give Advice That You Would Want To Hear
Take a moment to place yourself in your mentee’s shoes. When you were in their situation, what advice would have helped you the most? The more relevant the guidance you can provide, the better. That’s not to say you can’t draw from your most recent experiences, but be sure to actively reflect on the other person’s position. Doing so will provide a vessel for clear and effective communication.
Practice What You Preach
As mentioned above, being a mentor carries lot of responsibility. Your mentee looks up to you so it’s critical that you’re living by the lessons you teach. Whether you realize it or not, your mentee is evaluating you, both in your meetings together and beyond. If what you’re doing in your own life contradicts the conversations you have with your mentee, this could sour the relationship, or worse – send your protégé down a negative path. Long story short: if you talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.
Sometimes the best thing you can do as a mentor is provide a listening ear for your mentee to sound off on. You may or may not understand all of the details of the situations they discuss with you, but the simple act of listening can work wonders for the professional relationship. While your mentee verbally works through the problems they’re facing, you’ll get a better picture of what’s happening in their life, which can (and should) shape your future conversations.
Never Stop Learning
Just because you’ve taken on a mentorship role doesn’t mean you should stop being mentored. Whether this takes the form of a networking group or one-on-one counseling, it’s critical that you continue to sharpen your professional skillset while mentoring someone. This will not only help you in your business, but also in making sure you’re at the top of your game when providing advice to others.
At Far West Capital, we are firm believers in the power of mentorship and how it can unleash the potential in others. Through relatable advice, transparent actions, active listening and continued learning, you, too, can become a respected industry leader.
What types of mentorship advice do you offer to others?