My Top 10 Guiding Principles of Mentoring

I have enjoyed mentoring in many companies and types of settings. Whether interns at the workplace, up and coming members at my place of worship or with people 3rd party charitable ministries there have been many great learning opportunities that I have been blessed to learn and grow from as a person. Mentoring is the lifeblood of continuing to provide the most powerful means of training and developing relationships. If you have the time in your company or organization to provide this and make a difference than please do!

My Top 10 Guiding Principles of Mentoring

1) Mentoring is equally just as important to the mentor as it is to the mentee – realize that you are not only providing a chance of growth to the individual but to yourself also. We can always learn and grow from the new personalities and perspectives that we have a chance to be a part of.

2) Mentoring is not telling people what to do; it’s how to guide people to learn how to do it. If people are never equipped with the knowledge and confidence to execute in the problem in front of them then they may be less apt to take those bigger steps in their future. Build their confidence!

3) Mentoring takes time (and it’s time well spent). If you’re not willing to invest an ongoing slot of time to people you are mentoring then both parties suffer in the process. And I can say from experience that you will know the right amount of time to invest in someone when they’re less focused on asking questions and instead feeling confident in execution.

4) Mentoring is to give others the edge you did not have when you started. If we do not raise the bar in where we start our prospective candidates then we in turn are not shifting our talent to be more like the quality candidates we want to hire.

5) Mentoring tests your ability to lead and manage others. Chances are if working with new people and helping them learn new things presents a challenge to tough then you may want to keep focused as an individual contributor and continue enriching your ability to lead and influence.

6) People receiving mentoring should be receiving from you a combination of selflessness, teaching, communication and learning. Any piece of this that is left off will result in teaching without applicability, only doing your things you selfishly do not wish to do, communicating only when obligated to and learning without understanding the purpose.

7) Effective mentoring is not driven by being their “boss”; it is driven by your actions in being their guide. Often times I have seen internships or new candidates turn into cheap labor having only a few purposes of things we do not want to do. These experiences that candidates have are not well received and do hinder the overall company or organization reputation.

8) Mentoring will coach your candidate through their fears and insecurities. Candidates should walk away from your mentoring feeling more confident in prior areas of weakness.

9) Mentoring is an open door, an open ear and an open mind. If you close any of these you will not promote the development of conversation and ideas. Sometimes a new fresh perspective from someone outside of the norm can be the jump-start you need to be excited about mentoring.

10) Mentoring promotes the development of mentors. Over many occasions I have now seen before my eyes candidates I have worked with now mentoring others and developing new employees and candidates.

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