Mentoring can be useful, fun and even life changing. McCarthy Mentoring research Managing Power, People and My Career reviewed mentoring best practice and identified the top 10 tips for mentors:
- Advisor: A valuable mentor creates a learning environment and helps build a culture of trust by encouraging, advising and guiding the mentee
- Commitment: Mentors should be available and committed to the success of the relationship.
- Attributes: A good mentor is a strategist, trusted advisor, role model, leader, nurturer, teacher, supporter and challenger.
- Style: The best mentor has many different working styles and will adopt a style that suits both the situation and the mentee.
- Listen: Being an active listener, truly hearing and understanding what the mentee is saying, is one of the most important aspects of good mentoring.
- Objectives: A clear purpose and understanding of the goals, expectations and obligations should be established at the start
- Wisdom: mentors need to have 'walked some decent miles' – although not necessarily in the same industry
- Guid:, don't drive. Let the mentee be the driver of the relationship. The mentee sets the pace and goals and the mentor provides the trusting learning environment.
- Trust: When a mentee truly believes that you can hold in confidence what they tell you, trust will grow exponentially.
- Equality: The partnership should be one of mutual respect and equality. In a successful partnership both the mentor and mentee is stimulated, engaged, learning and inspired.
Sophie McCarthy is executive director of McCarthy Mentoring.