One: Be a mentee first. To be a strong mentor you need to have been a mentee. At every stage of our professional journey, we can learn from someone around us with wisdom and experience in a new area. We can also mentor others who desire to learn from our perspective.
Two: Be a servant leader. I encourage you to embrace the servant leader principle of giving forward especially with our mentees and trusted circle. They are those key professional people with whom we share our time, network freely and know that due respect will be given. And, it does not need to be clear how we will gain a tangible benefit as we mentor.
Three: Share from personal experience. You need to share from personal experience while not betraying the confidence of others. Share perspectives and wisdom. This is more helpful then providing advice or recommendations. Ask questions, share examples of related experiences and let the mentee make their independent decisions as they build their own path.
Four: Have mentors external to your work place. You can only mentor fully when you are not personally vested in the outcome of the mentees choices. If you find that you have a conflict of interest, you need to find your mentee another mentor. Because of the need for independence and objectivity, you also need mentors outside your department and outside your company. Lisbeth McNabb, Guest Blogger View more posts by SCORE’s Guest Bloggers