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Everything you need to know about the #powerofmentoring, powered by MentorCloud. 

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Do You Have What It takes? 4 Qualities of a Successful Mentor

The ability and enthusiam to mentor an aspiring professional is an essential leadership quality. It means you’ve reached a place in your career where you’ve become a master at what you do, and you’re ready to pass on what you’ve learned. Going through the experience of mentoring another individual is an opportunity to improve your leadership and communication skills, as well as learn new perspectives and ways of thinking. It can teach you not only how to manage people, but also how to motivate them.

This all sounds pretty good, but how do you know when it’s the right time to become a mentor?

There are a few universal qualities that all successful mentors share. If you see these qualities in yourself, then you just might be ready to become a mentor:

1.     You have the time and resources to dedicate to a mentee. Time is an important factor when it comes to mentoring. That’s because in order to be a successful mentor, you must be patient. Most mentoring relationships start from the beginning, which means you’ll have to get to know your mentee. You’ll need to take the time to answer all of their questions, even if they seem obvious or basic. Ideally, you’ve reached a place in your career where you are able to delegate some of your work to your team. You have sufficient bandwidth to dedicate a consistent amount of time towards mentoring. You’ve also gathered valuable materials and resources throughout your career that you can share with a less seasoned worker.

2.     Considerable experience in your field or area of expertise. Mentees often lack confidence, which can be a crucial element of success. That’s why your job as a mentor is so important. At this point in your career, you’re a master at what you do. You’ve put in the hard work and hours, climbed the ladder, and been successful in your career. You’ve picked up a lot of knowledge along the way—knowledge that greener workers may not gain for many years. You're in a position to give them an advantage—and the confidence—they wouldn’t have without your mentorship. 

3.     A certain degree of teaching skills. Retaining a lot of knowledge is one thing, but being able to communicate it to another human being is something else entirely. You’ll come into contact with all different sorts of people as a mentor, and you’ll need to recognize the different ways in which people learn. Your position as a leader and master of what you do means that you’ve done your share of training and showing new-hires the ropes. You’re capable of transferring your knowledge and gearing your mentoring in a way that will be most effective for each person you mentor.

4.     Enthusiasm for helping others grow, and continuing to grow yourself. Finally, in order for a mentee to truly open up to you and realize their full potential, they have to trust you. Which means they have to believe that you truly care about their success. More than anything, it’s your compassion for others and the desire to share your knowledge so that someone else might succeed that will make you a successful mentor.

 Chances are, if you’re reading this email, you’re already curious about mentoring. But a mentor/mentee relationship can be a significant commitment, so it’s understandable to wonder whether or not you are up to the task. But if you have the right qualities, and most importantly, the desire to help another person grow in their career, then you should consider becoming a mentor. There is endless potential for both mentors and mentees to learn and grow from the experience.

Succeed in mentoring with MentorCloud

Think you have what it takes to become a mentor? Contact MentorCloud to learn more about how to get started. MentorCloud allows your organization to share knowledge and wisdom openly, while enabling both small and large companies to develop their employees. 

 If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!

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Hit the Ground Running: 10 Questions to Ask Your Mentor

So you’ve found a mentor and you’re ready to get started. Where do you begin? How do you know what questions to ask? Every budding entrepreneur needs mentors to be successful. But business mentors are very busy people, so you want to make the best use of their limited time by asking thoughtful, pointed questions right from the start. Part of being proactive in building and maintaining a healthy mentoring relationship is knowing your career goals and communicating them to your mentor so they can decide best how to help you. A mentor is not there to make decisions for you; rather, they are there to provide guidance and motivation to help you make your own decisions.

 When first starting out, mentoring relationships can be awkward and uncertain. Here are ten questions to help you hit the ground running and be on your way towards a successful mentoring relationship:

1.    At the beginning, you’re just getting to know each other. Learn more about your mentor by asking how s/he spends most of their time. You’ll gain useful insights about their likes and dislikes.

2.    Chances are, you are not the first mentee to be accepted by your mentor. Ask their recommendations for setting a schedule at the onset, and stick to the program as often as you can.

3.    Mentors are often experts in their fields. Ask your mentor what makes them unique and how they’ve been successful.

4.    We all enjoy an opportunity to share our achievements. Ask your mentor about significant milestones and career successes they are proud of.

5.    Even though they are experts, mentors are not infallible. Ask your mentor to share any mistakes they’ve made or regrets they have.

6.    Ask your mentor to share how s/he accepts defeat or failure in life, and how s/he manages to see the positive side.

7.   Mentoring can be a serious responsibility, so mentors usually have a good reason for taking on a mentee. Ask your mentor to explain why they accepted you, and if they ask, let them know why you chose them.

8.    Ask your mentor what s/he would do at this stage in their career if they were a mentee like you.

9.  Remember, a mentoring relationship is meant to be beneficial to both the mentor and the mentee. Mentors can learn valuable lessons from the experience, and they can’t succeed unless you do. So don’t be afraid to ask if you can help your mentor in any way possible.

10. Finally, once you’ve built mutual trust and confidence, ask your mentor if there is anything you can do better.

Mentoring relationships can be tricky when first starting out, but if you ask the right questions from the onset, you’ll not only gain trust and confidence, but also build momentum. At the end of your mentoring session, thank your mentor for their valuable time. Ask yourself what you’ve learned and how you’ll move forward. Be sure to schedule your next mentoring session, and continue to be clear and intentional with your questions. You’ll quickly make progress, and your mentor will be thrilled to see you taking initiative with your career. 

Succeed in mentoring with MentorCloud

Interested in learning more about how to start your mentoring relationship strong? Contact MentorCloud for more valuable insights. MentorCloud allows your organization to share knowledge and wisdom openly, while enabling both small and large companies to develop their employees.

 If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!

 

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Planning the Exit: Knowing When It's Time to End a Mentorship

As with any relationship, finding a business mentor can be a gratifying and mutually beneficial experience. But if the relationship is not going as expected, and you are not gaining the expertise and guidance from the relationship that you hoped for, then it might be time to move on.

An important part of developing a successful mentoring relationship is being able to recognize when it isn’t working or when it is no longer necessary. Read on to learn how to identify the signs of a declining mentorship and when it’s time to end it.

STAGNATION

One of the biggest challenges in a mentoring program is ending the relationship, because it may lead to surprise or resentment. But you must put these worries aside and remember that this is your career; you must keep moving forward. A clear-cut sign that it is time to end the relationship is when mentors/mentees feel that they have achieved their goals. In this case, there should be no concerns about hurt feelings or discomfort. Both parties have achieved what they set out to do, and both should feel rewarded for a successful mentorship. Likewise, if a lot of effort is being put into a mentorship that neither the mentor nor the mentee feel is going anywhere, then it is also time to move on, and there should be no hurt feelings as a result. Ultimately, a mentor/mentee relationship is a business relationship, with goals and expectations. If those expectations aren’t being met, then both parties are better off ending the relationship and seeking a program that fits. 

PROGRESS IS UNCLEAR

One of the goals of a successful mentor/mentee program is to provide a mutual learning experience. Throughout the course of the program, participants should be proactive and evaluate the relationship on a regular basis. At these intervals, both the mentor and mentee should be able to identify what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown, and what goals they’ve achieved. If regular evaluations do not yield positive results, or if they aren’t being conducted at all, then that is a sign the relationship isn’t working. Perceptions are important, and they can be developed early on. If either the mentor or mentee perceives that sufficient effort and dedication is not being put forth, the relationship will inevitably fail. Recognize the signs early on and don’t be afraid to pull the plug if the time is right.  

COMMUNICATION IS A STRUGGLE 

In a successful mentor/mentee relationship, regular communication is key. Participants should make a point to stay in touch, if only through occasional emails. Face-to-face interaction is important too, as it cultivates trust and sustains momentum. If one party is avoiding the other, either by declining invitations to meet or not responding to communications, this is a sign that something is amiss. You can try to reopen the lines of communication, but once trust is lost, it is very hard to gain it back. Both a mentor and mentee need to know that all parties are invested in the success of the relationship, and if they constantly have to struggle over communication, then it is time to move on.

If you do decide to end your mentorship, try not to do it abruptly. Give as early notice as possible, and always end the relationship in person. More often than not, both parties are already aware that the mentorship is failing or has run its course, so there really shouldn’t be any surprises. Be polite and courteous, and be sure to thank them for their time. When done right, ending a mentorship program can be the final step in ensuring a successful mentorship relationship.

Succeed in mentoring with MentorCloud

Struggling with a declining mentorship? Contact MentorCloud to gain more insight on how to recognize the signs and what steps you should take towards moving forward.

If this post was valuable to you, please feel free to share it across your social media channels. Also, give us your thoughts on best practices and/or your experiences with mentoring. Thank you for reading, and check back in every Monday and Thursday for original posts on the #powerofmentoring!

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4 Tips For Creating A Culture of Mentorship

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4 Tips For Creating A Culture of Mentorship

Developing a culture of mentorship within your company isn't impossible, but it requires some consideration and due diligence. Read on for tips on establishing a mentoring program, setting up clear lines of communication, and fostering mutual respect and cooperation with the team. Read more here!

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4 Questions To Ask When Establishing Company-Wide Mentorship

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4 Questions To Ask When Establishing Company-Wide Mentorship

71% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs to their employees to aid the organization with employee retention, workforce engagement, and sustained improvement in productivity and diversity training.

With that in mind, the next step is understanding how to utilize these tools efficiently and how to design an effective mentorship program for your company. Read on to learn more about the questions you should ask yourself when establishing a pilot program. 

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