How Mentoring Makes You a Better Leader
One of the best ways to engage employees and start building influence within an organization is through mentoring. For mentoring to work, the individual or the group needs to trust and respect one another and communicate effectively.
A successful leader offers years of insight to a more junior team member. This person can effectively communicate their experience to others. When both parties know and accept their role, mentoring becomes a powerful team-building tool.
When you mentor people, you gain the opportunity to practice your leadership skills in small groups and learn how to influence people. This builds your confidence while helping your mentee feel the company wants them to succeed.
Below are Six Fundamentals of Mentoring from the Harvard Business Review
- Choose your mentee carefully – A mentee should be curious, organized, efficient, responsible, and engaged.
- Establish a mentorship team – Current business practices move people around and keep us busy, making one-on-one mentoring difficult and often sporadic. Form a mentoring team and share responsibility for mentees.
- Establish firm ground rules – Set expectations, clarify roles, establish time limits, institute a communication structure, have a calendar, and agree on goals and outputs. Most importantly, stress accountability.
- Resolve conflict – There will be disagreements or miscommunications. Mentors are responsible for addressing issues and resolving conflict.
- Don’t wield power inappropriately – As a mentor, you’re in a place of authority. Don’t abuse it or use it for your agenda. This is called mentorship malpractice.
- Prepare and be ready for mentees to become mentors – If you’ve done your job, at some point your mentee will be ready to transition to a mentor as your organization grows and changes.
The most obvious trait of good leadership is seeing how it inspires growth in others. Using your influence to gain people’s trust and buy into the company vision is a skill you can build through practice. As a company leader, your job is to engage employees so they aren’t just celebrating personal wins, but company wins. That’s how you create impact. That is leadership and influence in action.
The best news? The more experiences you have as a leader, the easier being a leader becomes.
This is one of our executive briefings taken from our series of professional online business short courses from ELL. We have over 150 courses online with over 1,000 hours of e-learning covering a wide range of topics across leadership, management and personal & professional development created by industry experts and learning professionals.