June 24, 2020
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Mentorship is something that none of us want to screw up and that’s because it most certainly involves someone else’s career. In the journey of your career, you probably found someone to act as your mentor. And now, you want to be one for someone else. But then, you ask yourself whether you are fit for the job or not. It is a huge and an extremely honourable responsibility to be someone’s mentor and it is your duty to be an ideal one. As a mentor, you will not only help someone become their best professional self but also give them a new perspective towards their career, passion, and life in general. Thus, in order to be an ideal mentor, you will have to incorporate several skills and qualities within yourself.
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I have identified the 3 most important Cs that are indispensable for the role of a mentor. Beginning with compassion, it is crucial that you develop a one-on-one relationship with your mentee. Your show of personal interest in their work and success will be very important in establishing trust and respect between the two of you. You should be able to selflessly share all the knowledge and expertise you have out of genuine concern for their performance.
Next, you will never be successful as a mentor without 100% commitment. An ideal mentor is committed to helping their mentees find success and satisfaction in their chosen professions. You must go well prepared for every session and show your commitment towards this relationship. Commitment can be as contagious as positive energy. Thus, your commitment as a mentor will ignite commitment to succeed inside your mentee as well.
The third C of communication is probably the most important C. As a mentor, it is assumed that you are an expert in your field or area of responsibility. But the trick is not in being knowledgeable but in being able to articulate that knowledge and experience to others. You don’t just have to be able to communicate but do it very clearly and accurately. Anything you say or teach will be of any value only if your mentee clearly understands it. Communication is always a two-way street. Being a good articulator will not cover this C. You will also have to be a great listener, easily available and particularly approachable.
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It is imperative that you be very candid and straightforward with your mentee. This is the only way to make sure all their doubts and inhibitions are answered or taken care of by you as a mentor. Frankness doesn’t just mean dispensing formalities and initiating open dialogues but it also means dishing out constructive criticism for your mentee. Being honest will go a long way in your mentor-mentee relationship.
In plain text, flexibility sounds like it belongs to an opposite set of words when compared to honesty. But the truth is that honesty and flexibility must walk hand in hand. As a mentor, you must never become stagnant in one opinion or single technology or an isolated method. You must keep learning and you must keep your options open. Being honest to the role of a mentor means you will allow yourself to experiment and learn practices that are relatively new to you. Never let that inquisitiveness die, not in you and not in your mentee.
Try and incorporate these simple and easy elements to your way of doing things. You will find yourself becoming a great mentor!