Business mentoring tips
Consistent, exceptional customer service is almost always a result of a healthy, thriving and engaged culture.
I have said it many times before happier staff equals happier customers.
If you are a manager and you do not encourage your team to get extra help and advice from people other than you, then you could be holding them back and damaging your organisation.
For years, actually all my life, I have struggled with extreme self-obsession. It is not by choice and if I could have it any other way, I would.
This doesnt mean that I do not care about others; it just means that I can be tortured by my own thoughts and they can be centred on me.
I have learnt to laugh about it and live with it but most of all I know the remedy for this chronic obsession is to help others.
Sometimes I have taken this too far to my own detriment and the key to my own success is getting the balance just right.
To do this I need to allow others to help me as well you cannot pour from an empty cup.
This is why I am a strong believer in coaching and mentoring. No matter how far youve come I believe youll always benefit from a coach or mentor (even if you do not suffer from this obsession of self!)
What does a business mentor look like?
To me, it is anyone you can be honest with about your fears, hopes and dreams. Yes, your partner or sister may be good for this. However, it is ideal to also find someone who isnt going to be biased when talking to you.
For example, if I asked Does my butt look big in this? and I had a partner who wanted to live, he would say no which is okay by me.
But Id like to find a mentor who would say yes if it were true and for me to look at a better alternative. Although the truth hurts it helps us grow and improve.
Business Mentor Tips
Being asked to be a mentor is truly an honour. If you have the time then I would say do it. Some business mentor tips are:
- Becoming a mentor is a fantastic motivator; it forces you to keep growing, learning and developing so that you can pass it on to someone else.
- Do not work harder than your mentee, it is up to them to do the work.
- Keep learning yourself and pass on information when relevant but not just for the sake of it or for your ego.
- Set some ground rules and be clear from the start, for example, I can give you one hour a fortnight but you need to book the meeting and come to me with an agenda of what you would like to discuss.
- You are not available 24/7. Do not drop everything as soon as your mentee calls or emails. You have your own life and family commitments and patience is a skill you can help your mentee learn.
- You are probably not a counsellor, doctor or lifesaver; you do not have all the answers. Suggest different avenues or people for issues you do not know about.
- Avoid being hypercritical or judgemental and allow your mentee to make mistakes
- Know that you do not get to take the credit for your mentees success and vice versa it is not your fault if your mentee makes mistakes.
- Re mistakes, help your mentee see that they are actually opportunities to learn from.
- Do not get offended if your mentee doesnt need or want your help anymore! Your mentee will probably out-grow you or turn to someone else for the next stage of their life or career. (A good mentor doesnt take this personally and is silently proud).
- Avoid the say as I do mentality. You are there to make suggestions and you are not always right.
- Listen, listen, listen. If you are doing all the talking, the dynamic is off and you could be coming from a place pf power rather than a place of strength and understanding.
- Dont get cocky and let it go to your head and definitely do not take on too many mentees at once.
Tips on finding a business mentor
I have had some great bosses in the past who fully encouraged me to seek help to grow. Some tips for finding a business mentor are:
- Contact different organisations that are similar to yours or network with others via LinkedIn or similar to build relationships. From there, find someone you click with and ask them to be your mentor. (Someone may ask you, too).
- It is okay to get a business mentor from inside your organisation but try to avoid having someone too close to your position. Someone who understands your path but perhaps is in a different division or team is ideal.
- Your manager is your manager, not your mentor (but they do mentor you anyway).
- Understand that if your mentor is someone in your organisation, they may have set opinions about people they know and may give advice based on their opinions or past experiences. Remember, you still need to have your own opinions so trust your own instincts.
- You are not a sheep and the goal is not to become a carbon copy of your mentor. You are unique.
- Read more articles on How to engage and motivate employees
- Learn How to improve your coaching and leadership skills