A mentor is ever evolving and improving skills. Being a mentor is a journey of self development and a greater understanding of yourself and where you want to go. To be able to help someone on their journey a mentor has to have a clear view of where he or/she is and where they want to go and be able to live their goals.
To be a mentor is not a boss and employee relationship, this is when someone is over you and watching every move you make so they can pounce on you when you make a mistake and then you are self conscience and your self esteem is crushed. This method is demeaning and it damaging. Too often we are ridiculed and judged in the work force that we sometime forget who we are. May be someone is after your job and is making life difficult for you. This is not what a mentor does, he or/she has your best interest at heart and will always be truthful with you. That does not mean that they will tell you things that you want to hear. There will be a time where you need guidance and direction in the decisions that you make. You have to remember that your mentor has been there before you and they know the pit falls . A mentor knows he can not succeed with out a team all helping each other grow, not only in business but personally as well. When coming out of the boss employee situation, there will be a different mind set which you have to change. This may take a bit of time depending how serious you want to change. A mentor will give you suggestions on which books to read and cd’s to listen to, to help you on your way. There is no doubt that the relationship between your mentor and yourself is a mutual understanding that allows you to communicate quickly and effectively without ego or any other sentiment that blocks either of your progress. It’s a relationship of total honesty and understanding that allows you to admit your shortcomings and the areas you need to improve without hiding behind excuses or posturing in any way.
This kind of deep trust and understanding you must have when building a team. As a mentor you are not the same thing as a friend. Friends forgive your short comings and overlook the things you do. Mentors try to influence your thoughts and behavior and change the way you see the world and become more powerful.
The relationship is not unlike that of a parent and child. Both parties need to respect one another. Both need to accept the learning and growing is a two way street; both need to know that a mentor can only guide but cannot conduct business for you; both need to know that a mentor will always do the right thing or tell you the truth even if it isn’t what you want to hear or do . From the mentor’s stance, all mentors need to know that true leadership and the right to be a mentor will always honoring your word; it is earned by leading by example. Your integrity, work habits, commitment, drive for excellence and attitude all need to be of a higher caliber in order to gain the respect of and right to be a true mentor. A mentor does not listen or talk about problems, they only look for and talk about solutions, concentrate on solutions and you will find away out. Concentrating on problems and that is what you going to have more of, problems . A mentor never stops learning either from books, cd’s and other people’s experiences. Even from whom they are mentoring. Everyone comes from different back grounds and have had experienced new things and there is always new ideas and knowledge to share. A mentor always recognizes new opportunities, because he or/she is always on the lookout and talking to others on the way they do business or other activity that they are interested in for them to improve their skills. The more skills you have the more valuable you are to others.
Copyright (c) 2007 Sue Bektas