6 Easy Ways to Rising to the Challenges of Mentorship

Published on
March 2, 2015

Mentoring requires a lot of time and effort, and it is not for everyone. Furthermore, even the most seasoned mentors meet difficulties regularly: people are complex, and dealing with them can be a messy business at times.  

In simple words, mentoring is not an easy undertaking; it needs a significant amount of time and effort. Whatever technique you take to mentoring, you're bound to run into some of the same issues that all mentors confront daily. Understanding and addressing these issues will increase the success of your mentorships and help you become a better mentor in general.

In this article, we'll go through six measures that you, as a mentor, should take to overcome the obstacles.

1-Gauging your mentee's nature

As mentors, it is essential to stock your mentee's personality traits and work habits. You have to decide early on what kind of person you're mentoring. What kind of employee are they? Do they respect authority and welcome the advice of others? Do they work better alone or as part of a group? Are they good communicators? Learning the answers to these questions can take time, but it's worth the effort. The key is to remain patient and non-judgmental. Refrain from jumping to conclusions and don't be hasty and make mistakes about their true nature.

2-Setting goals for the mentoring program

Setting goals and helping a mentee meet them can be an ongoing challenge. If you start and stay consistent, you'll bring an organized, hands-on approach to your mentoring program. You'll provide clarity and ensure that your mentee is working towards their goals rather than being lost in confusion. Goals define the purpose and meaning of the mentoring program while ensuring that both the mentor and mentee have something concrete to work towards the desired goal.

3-Building trust

We've already established that faith is one of the essential elements of successful mentorship. Gaining your mentee's confidence can be an uphill task that requires a lot of time and effort. Regardless of whether your mentee trusts easily or needs more convincing, your mentee should be able to get to the point where he/she can confide in you without any second thoughts or inhibitions. Once trust is established, the relationship has a firm foundation to build up.

4-Identifying your mentee's talents

Often, just being a source of support isn't enough. A mentor's role extends to identifying the hidden skills of your mentee. Everyone has individual strengths and weaknesses, and finding them in your mentee will help you determine their areas of excellence and areas needing improvement. When you can guide mentees in the direction of their strengths, you'll succeed in what you set out to do: helping your mentees reach their goals.

5-Allocation of time for completing specific tasks

It is an invaluable resource that cannot be regained once lost. You must constantly stay on top of tasks you assign and become an expert at setting appropriate time frames. Manage time by preparing schedules or time slots for meetings, discussions, reviews, and completing tasks within specified timeframes. Refrain from delaying or postponing tasks or appointments to set a standard of consistency and progress.

6-Giving feedback to your mentee

Feedback is a valuable element of a solid mentoring program. It can be hard to point out where your mentee could improve, and even giving consistent praise is difficult for some people. But giving regular feedback will help your mentees improve in numerous ways. You'll provide your mentees with an outside perspective on their performance, something that is often hard to gain. It allows your mentees to work on improving where needed and continue doing what they do best. It'll also give them more confidence in their work and abilities. Keep track of the feedback you provide, and you and your mentee will have a good idea at the end of the mentorship how much progress was made.

These are just some of the common challenges that come with being a mentor. Of course, there are other challenges, which can range from simple to severe and can differ from one mentor to the next. The vital lesson to note is that mentoring comes with a reasonable number of obstacles. Understanding and meeting these challenges will go a long way towards improving your skills as a mentor.  

If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet where true equality is achieved, and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.

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