Too often we look at mentoring through the lens of the mentee.
Get a mentor, align with a leader, learn from the best.
What about the mentor?
If you are considering mentoring, there are important things to think about before you take on this massive responsibility.
Make sure that mentoring is for you. Most effective mentors truly, deeply enjoy helping people grow and develop. Make sure you’re likely to enjoy the process before you take it on.
Make sure you have the time and flexibility. If your schedule is already overloaded or you’re under stress at home, you might want to consider holding off on a mentoring commitment until things are a little less hectic.
Make sure you know what you bring to the table. None of us is good at everything, but every one of us is really good at something. If you know what you’re good at and what other things you may bring to the table, you’re more likely to be successful.
“There is no one right mentor. There are many right mentors.” — Jack Welch
One of the strongest quotes which perfectly summarizes this sentiment is by Jack Welch, who had his fair share of mentees in his career. “There is no one right mentor. There are many right mentors.” — Jack Welch. From your perspective, that means you don’t have to do everything. You aren’t the only place that your protégé should get help and your protégé may not know this, so it will fall on you to educate them.
Make sure you know what kind of people you like to work with and which ones are hard for you.
Mentoring should be a pleasant relationship for both of you.
Make sure you know what you expect from your protégé. It’s a good idea to tell him or her what you expect them to do.
Clear expectations are vital to a mentoring relationship.
Make sure you know that a good mentoring relationship should be a good experience for both of you.
You should both enjoy it.
You should both grow and develop.
Ideally, you should both make a friend for life.
Mentoring can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your career or it can be a frustrating and time-consuming trial.
Make sure you know what you’re getting into.