Mentorships provide numerous benefits to both participants and their businesses. Many large companies have formal mentoring programs, but informal arrangements are also common and equally rewarding. Debbie Padello of simplicityHR by ALTRES says the opportunity to give back by being a mentor is one of the most fulfilling parts of her career. Here she offers five steps to help you select a worthy mentee.
1. Be present.
Mentoring relationships rely on positive interpersonal dynamics. Spend time getting to know employees and colleagues and make yourself available to let them get to know you. The ones you truly connect with are possible candidates for mentoring.
2. Be picky. Among your prospects, look for energy, positivity and potential. Don’t just agree to anyone who corners you and asks, “Will you be my mentor?” Instead, look for people who have specific, thoughtful comments, ideas and questions.
“Committing to someone else’s professional growth is not just smart business, it’s fun and personally rewarding – once you find the right person.”
3. Make a difference.
Your mentee may be hardworking and intelligent, but if they lack the willingness or ability to accept feedback and make changes, you are wasting your time as a mentor. Choose people for whom you can make a difference.
4. Insist they respect your time.
People who are frequently rescheduling, chronically late or distracted by their cellphone while you are talking are disrespectful. You are committing time and attention to them; you have to insist they do the same.
5. Seek reciprocity.
Both mentor and mentee can learn from people of other cultures and different ages and specializations. The traditional mentor is often a kind of guru, but engaging in a two-way flow of knowledge and information can be equally enlightening.
THIS MONTH’S AUTHOR:
Debbie Padello, Director of Operations, simplicityHR by ALTRES