Take a minute to remember the best mentor you’ve ever had.
It must not be someone from work. However, it can be. Mentors can be managers, colleagues, family members, friends, coaches, university professors … whoever has been a particularly excellent advisor at some point in your life.
Now think about what made it stand out. Was the example he gave? Did it make you feel as if you understood your communication style, your work or your goals? Did he always seem to recommend the right resources or did he give you adequate advice when you needed it?
At some point in your life (if you are lucky, on several occasions), you will have to play the mentoring role for someone else. It can be something exciting and a bit confusing at the same time.
Let’s discuss what a mentor, including the three main types: peer mentor, mentor by profession, and life mentor are. Then we will tackle the 12 tips to be a great mentor.
A relationship between a mentor and a disciple can last for years or can occur during an appointment in a cafeteria. When you are someone’s mentor for a long time, you get to know and understand their personality, learning style, and objectives, which can make you offer more relevant advice as time goes by.
But the orientation should not necessarily be long-term. It can also be a one-time or short-term relationships, such as when someone needs help to try to solve a specific problem; how to make a professional transition or a problem with a co-worker or boss.
This type of mentor is more like an apprentice program than an orientation. Whether someone is entering a new job or early in their career, this person could benefit from having a peer mentor in the company they work for, as it could help them settle into their new job and climb to the top of learning more quickly.
Mentor by profession
When most people think of orientation, the first thing that comes to mind is a professional orientation. Mentors by trade have a higher level than their disciple in the same company or in the company in which he used to work. Its purpose is to serve as a professional advisor and advocate to help reaffirm how the contributions of a disciple fit into their long-term career goals and, even, into the larger picture of the company’s goals.
Some companies have career guidance programs in their staff development strategy. This seems to work best when it is not a bureaucratic system, but something more like a voluntary system, where current employees volunteer to orient new workers. “It should be something that people know is part of the philosophy of a firm,” Khan wrote.
A life mentor is usually someone who is not in the workplace of a disciple. Khan wrote that life mentors should not replace the mentors of colleagues or professionals, but “exist to impart wisdom about the professional field.”
The chances are that you will be more than one of these types of mentors for several people and that you will have more than one pair of disciples at a time. Some tips are very true, and that can be applied in all types of orientations. Below I will give you 12 tips to become a great mentor.