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    1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 23, 2010 1:13 PM by LUCKIEST

    How to Be a Great Mentor

    onecoach Wayfarer
      Mentoring is an integral part of the growth and development of any business. Business coaches will often assign mentors within a group in order to promote good training and learning efforts. While mentoring is a very current practice among businesses and companies, it is actually a very old and well established way of learning. Most of us can remember a teacher, relative or friend who inspired us to learn and grow in ways that lasted a lifetime. A good mentor is first and foremost a teacher. Instilling a desire to learn, and encouraging the ability to take risks involved with learning is a mentors greatest goal. So, how does one become a great mentor? Here are a few guidelines to consider.

      Understand the potential of the person you are mentoring. When you are aware of a person's natural abilities and talents, you can guide them forward in the true areas of their interest.
      Identify the personality traits that will help you better understand what drives a person to learn.
      Establish in the beginning that you and the person you may be mentoring are compatible and can make the relationship work. Do you share similar values and beliefs? Are your work ethics basically the same? Do you share a mutual respect for each other? And, as basic as it may sound, in order for a mentor/student relationship to work, you must like each other.
      A good mentor is able to openly share personal experiences and achievements for the student to learn from both the failures and successes.

      As a mentor, it is also your responsibility to help your student believe in his or her own potential and encourage them to develop their own interests and follow their dreams. Many people find it much easier to adapt the goals and directions of others rather than develop their own.
      You will be there to instruct and to teach but also to encourage, reward and inspire. You will be the one to help your student up when he falters, and offer encouragement and reinforcement whenever he begins to doubt himself.

      A mentor will encourage a student to venture out of their natural comfort zone to try new things and take new risks in order to broaden their horizons and expand their realm of experiences.
      Understand that a mentor/student relationship will require quite a large investment of both time and energy in order to be successful. It can be enormously rewarding and fulfilling for the mentor and an enriching and even life-changing experience for the student.

      Your greatest challenge may be in maintaining the right balance of friendliness and familiarity. It is essential to provide the right amount of support, encouragement and respect while being able to teach, counsel, and recommend ideas for change and improvement without becoming too personal and involved.

      And finally, be open to the possibility that a relationship may not be working. Not every pairing will be a good match, and it is far better to part as friends than to try and force a relationship.

      Rachel Clarkson

      Rachel Clarkson helps small business owners to grow their companies, increase revenues and become great leaders. Rachel's articles can be found at the OneCoach blog: