Although mentoring is one way to gain leadership experience, it requires commitment and empathy to stay the course. To put it simply, mentoring should not be taken lightly. Whether the mentee is an adult or youth, the individual will be relying on you to be available and to give guidance. Hence, this report suggests eight ideas to ponder before taking the leap.
What’s your motive? This question supersedes everything. If you lack clarity and do not have a massive enough why, perhaps you need to rethink mentoring as a strategy to acquire leadership experience. Aside from possessing a combination of abilities and qualities, you need to care about people and their achievement. Thus, reflect carefully in your answer to the first question. At length, making a difference should be the major objective. Deciding to be a mentor is 1 thing, but creating a plan to make it happen is another. For the purpose, develop SMART targets. As you may be aware, SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
What do you need to achieve in the next week or next 30 days? What do you need to achieve in a year?
Begin where it makes sense.
Several groups need mentors: young adults transitioning out of foster care, students (high school and college), girls re-entering the workplace, women returning to the community following incarceration, troubled youth, first time managers, entrepreneurs, etc.. Where do you feel you can make the best impact?
Keep an open mind.
Your mindset will make the difference. That’s why it’s imperative to refrain from being judgmental or biased. Both can stunt the growth of the mentor-mentee relationship.
Perform thorough research.
Read literature to discover the mission of this agency, the programs, and services. Who are the clients? What are their requirements? Uncover the challenges and/or chances. Though mentors receive training, not forget your homework.
Consider potential challenges.
Be invited to face any perceived limitations or anxieties.
Seek to maintain balance.
Effective mentors excel in buildings connections and relationship building requires time. Still, you cannot lose sight of your other duties. That said, get a firm handle of your existing schedule. Sharpen your time management skills so that you don’t stress out.
Take the next step.
If you’ve done all the above, then make your move. There’s no time like the present to begin.