Mentorship is universally accepted as a strategy that offers incredible benefits, both to mentors and mentees alike. While mentees may experience higher job satisfaction, confidence, increased productivity, clarity of purpose, and faster career development as a result of mentorship, mentors are also able to enjoy fulfillment in giving back, stronger validation, increased relevance, and the development of a stronger following.
But the most effective mentorship engagements don’t happen by chance. Just as running a successful business doesn’t happen at random, there must be a proper foundation set within a mentorship that gives participants the greatest chance of a positive experience.
At LevelNext, we believe that there are 4 C’s of Mentoring. Learning these elements will help you build your own mutually beneficial mentorship where everyone — not just the mentee — can walk away feeling accomplished.
“When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses – only results.”Ken Blanchard
For any mentor/mentee relationship, commitment is not only imperative from the start, it must also be a shared value throughout the whole process. Mentorships should be viewed as a commitment, because that’s what they are. They require ongoing effort from both sides to track relevant progress and to understand that true success is achieved through an evolution, not a revolution. Entering into the engagement with eyes wide open to these facts should be the expectation.
If you were fortunate enough to have a mentor during your career, you can probably identify the hours your mentor may have sacrificed on your behalf. In today’s digital environment where interactions are held online, time and effort should be authentic and significant.
To sum up, if mentors are not committed to the process, they cannot expect the mentee to buy into the process.
“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”James Humes
Effective communication today requires a structured approach. Just as successful public speakers typically organize their thoughts into three main segments (i.e., the introduction, the body, and the conclusion), a similarly structured approach within mentorship will allow stronger value.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you communicate with your own mentees:
- Prepare in advance: Spend time thinking about potential talking points that could be of benefit to the mentee.
- Ask questions: Questions and clarifying questions from the mentor will help guide the conversation and engagement with greater understanding and potential outcome.
- Set expectations & objectives: Don’t be afraid to challenge the mentee with tasks that enable growth and perspective.
- Follow through: When progress is tracked, overlapping time will be mitigated.
By utilizing a stronger approach to communication strategy, mentorship interactions will offer a stronger return for both sides.
“The greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.”Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
When clarity is absent in mentorship, the mentor and mentee may often spend time speaking past each other. Within the LevelNext platform, every minute is critical and should be treated with significant value. To ensure this, effort to establish remarkable clarity should be a goal.
An easy way to establish stronger clarity with a mentee is to reverse engineer — which, as some tech gurus may know, is a process where software, machines, aircraft, architectural structures and other products are deconstructed to extract design information from them.
In a mentorship, reverse engineering can be used to help you identify and focus your desired results. By looking at the goal as the final destination, a reverse engineering pattern can be established to outline a strategy that helps you reach that finish line.
Clarifying questions and restating are also beneficial exercises for achieving stronger clarity. By asking your mentee questions throughout the meeting, you will be better equipped to prevent any misunderstanding, confusion, or ambiguity from occurring. Restating and emphasizing certain information can also help you establish a greater level of understanding with your mentee.
Through approaches such as reverse engineering, clarifying questions, and restating, enhanced clarity will lead to increased understanding and a stronger shared fulfillment for both parties.
“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”John Wooden
While coaching and mentoring should be viewed as two different things, adopting a coaching approach with your mentee can be immensely beneficial if done correctly.
As a mentor, you’ll help others to grow and develop through your knowledge, skill, and experience.
Coaching, on the other hand, is a stronger focus on performance, ultimately enabling a mentee to reach the desired potential.
While the expectation of LevelNext mentors is to guide those seeking career development, extra efforts to track performance can unlock greater growth if both mentor and mentee are agreed upon desired outcomes.
By learning and implementing the 4 C’s of Mentorship within your LevelNext experiences, your ability to reach peak levels of persuasion and impact will be greatly enhanced.