Taking on the responsibility of being a mentor sometimes comes as a choice while often times it occurs spontaneously. Regardless of how you fall into the mentorship role, it is crucial to prepare yourself for the future you will be helping to create with your mentee. In the first blog of this series, positive attitudes and enthusiasm were highlighted as ideal traits of a well-rounded mentor. While a mentor must have many positive qualities about themselves, there are a few that stand out across the board.
In a situation where a mentor naturally falls into their role, there are likely to be some learning curves. The mentor must be willing to adapt and teach at the level that the mentee feels most comfortable. A significant amount of time must be spent learning about one another. You may be only working together on a professional level but getting to know more about one another can benefit the learning process. As a mentor, you are well-versed and knowledgeable about a particular field. It is important to remember that those you are mentoring are looking to you and likely have much to learn from you. Making sure to remain patient and understanding as they obtain as much as possible. Knowing your audience is a great way to develop a plan that can keep your mentees on track and lessen any frustrations you may have.
For a mentor-mentee relationship to thrive, a level of trust must be established. As any relationship does, a mentorship can be made or broken through trust. It is important that as a mentor you prove your trustworthiness to your mentee. When working in a professional setting, a mentee must be able to come to the mentor with anything. If there is a lack of trust, the relationship could become tainted and fall apart. This being said, a mentor should also expect a certain amount of trust from their mentee. Working so closely together, there are bound to be scenarios when you learn about challenges the other is facing. As a mentor discretion is key, as the mentee is trusting you to help them without any repercussions.