Has there ever been a point in your life where someone approached you for advice or help, and it was at that point that you may have realized that it was a great opportunity to impart wisdom, and offer help or guidance?
If yes, it’s fair to say that you were a mentor to that person.
But did you do it right? Are you a good mentor?
To start, any good mentoring relationship begins with a personal relationship. As a person gets to know and like you, their desire to follow your direction and learn from you naturally increases. If they don’t like you, they probably won’t be too keen on learning from you, and the learning and growing process slows down or even stops entirely.
Kinda underscores the value of good relationships with your team then, doesn’t it?
No matter what you’re trying to achieve, to build great relationships, start first by listening to people and their stories and experiences. Your genuine interest in them will mean a lot. And, it will help you learn their personal strengths and weaknesses.
Ask about goals, find out what motivates them. Observe what kind of temperaments they have. You certainly don’t want to equip and develop a person whose greatest love is numbers and financial statements for a position where he or she would be spending 80% of their time dealing with disgruntled customers.
Figure out who the round pegs are, and then put them in the round holes, you’ll both be happier for having done so.
The ability to identify those features in someone comes from taking an interest and paying attention and listening.