Although mentoring is one way to gain leadership experience, it requires commitment and empathy to stay the course. Simply put, mentoring shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whether the mentee is an adult or youth, the person will be relying on you to be available and to provide guidance. Hence, this article suggests eight tips to contemplate before taking the leap.
What’s your motive? This question supersedes everything. If you lack clarity and don’t have a massive enough why, perhaps you need to rethink mentoring as a strategy to acquire leadership experience. Apart from possessing a combination of abilities and qualities, you must care about people and their success. Thus, reflect carefully on your answer to the first question. At length, making a difference should be the significant objective. Deciding to be a mentor is 1 thing, but creating a strategy to make it happen is another. For the purpose, develop intelligent goals. As you may know, SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
What do you need to achieve in the next week or next 30 days? What do you want to achieve in a year? Use a journal or spiral notebook to record the information.
Begin where it is reasonable.
Several groups need mentors: young adults transitioning from foster care, students (high school and college), women re-entering the workplace, women returning to the community following incarceration, troubled youth, first time supervisors, entrepreneurs, etc.. Where do you feel you can make the best impact?
Maintain an open mind. That’s why it is imperative to refrain from being judgmental or biased. Both can stunt the growth of this mentor-mentee relationship.
Perform comprehensive research.
Read literature to discover the mission of this agency, the programs, and services. Who are the customers? What are their requirements? Uncover the challenges and/or opportunities. Even though mentors receive training, not forget your homework.
Think about potential challenges.
Be encouraged to confront any perceived limitations or anxieties. But, brainstorm ways to overcome them.
Seek to maintain balance.
Effective mentors excel in buildings relationships and relationship building requires time. Still, you cannot lose sight of your other duties. With that said, get a firm handle of your current schedule. Sharpen your time management skills so you don’t stress out.
Take the next step.
If you’ve done all of the above, then make your move. There is no time like the present to begin.