There is no better way to validate your life’s experience as a woman business leader than to use your accumulated knowledge to give back. When I have the opportunity to really help someone through a mentoring program, I feel that I get as much out of the experience by giving and sharing as the recipient of the mentoring gets from me.
What I find really exciting is the opportunity to move beyond my past ideas and experiences and watch as they reemerge in new and progressive ways through those that I mentor. And, I love the idea of having new opinions layered and added to past experiences.
Above all though, I believe that you cannot mentor successfully without having passion for mentoring and for the opportunities you are providing. To be an effective mentor, Mindtools suggests you need to do the following:
1-Have the desire to help
You should be willing to spend time helping someone else, and remain positive throughout.
2-Be motivated to continue developing and growing
Your own development never stops. To help others develop, you must value your own growth too. Many mentors say that mentoring helps them with their own personal development.
3-Have confidence and an assured manner
We don’t mean overconfidence or a big ego. Rather, you should have the ability to critique and challenge mentees in a way that’s non-threatening, and helps them look at a situation from a new perspective.
4-Ask the right questions
The best mentors ask questions that make the mentee do the thinking. To do this, try asking open questions that cannot be answered with just yes or no. Or ask more direct questions that offer several answer options. Then ask the mentee why they chose that particular answer.
Be careful to process everything the mentee is saying. Watch body language, maintain eye contact, and understand which topics are difficult for the mentee to discuss. Showing someone that you’re listening is a valuable skill in itself. It shows that you value what the person is saying and that you won’t interrupt them.
Do this in a way that accurately and objectively summarizes what you’ve heard, but also interprets things in a way that adds value for the mentee. In particular, use feedback to show that you understand what the mentee’s thinking approach has been. This is key to helping the mentee see a situation from another perspective.
Mentoring truly is one of my great accomplishments, and I’d like to share a few of my favorite blogs on mentoring here: “7 Ways Women Business leaders Can Motivate and Mentor Others,” and “Create a Mentoring Group for Women Business Leaders in 5 Easy Steps.”