A competent mentor understands that their work contains various responsibilities, one of the most crucial of which is accountability. We are not talking about just taking responsibility for your actions or being proactive, although these are both essential skills to learn from a mentor. When we talk about accountability, we are referring to the extra layer of motivation a mentor—someone who counts on you to produce results—can spark in a mentee.
Many young professionals start in business with aspirations to work hard and achieve their goals, and some of them might even take steps towards realizing them. But nothing encourages a junior employee to put their best effort forward like the trust and confidence of a seasoned colleague.
Most of the skills learned in the first few years of a business career are designed to make employees effective team players with a strong understanding of the organization's goals and procedures.
Individuals are not necessarily encouraged to stand out among their peers or seek rapid advancement, and for most, this suits them fine. But an employee seeking mentorship is different; they want to learn, excel, and gain the skills they need to become leaders in their fields. Rather than blending in, they seek out challenge and responsibility, and the extra accountability gained through mentorship is what they need to tap into their true potential.
Following the Steps to Succeed
We've talked about the many challenges of being a mentor and how it can be pretty tricky to motivate mentees to set goals and follow the mentorship plan. But if we know that mentees inherently want to excel in their careers and may lack the guidance and motivation to do so, how can mentors leverage the power of accountability to help them succeed?
There are several ways, and most of them coincide with the essential elements of successful mentorship.
- Set your expectations and stick to them
Before creating accountability, you need to set clearly defined expectations for the mentorship. The mentee must know they should take the program, its goals, and the expected results seriously. Because they are still new in business, it's essential to create directly from the onset.
- Have them a list and explain specific goals
The mentee's plans should ideally be set. After all, it's their job, and encouraging them to pursue their dreams will give them a sense of ownership and help them to distinguish between what is practical and what is not. Furthermore, by establishing their objectives, they will create accountability for themselves in achieving them.
- Ask for regular updates on progress towards their goals
The mentee should understand that they are now expected to make significant progress toward their objectives. Request that the mentees report back on their accomplishments as you provide them guidance and assist them in taking discernible steps in the correct direction. Check-ins should be targeted rather than general to be effective.
- Believe in them
One of the most substantial motivation generators is knowing that someone is counting on you. An employee who's begun to acknowledge the importance and benefits of a mentor will strive to work harder and make efforts to deliver better results.
In conjunction with these four points, mentors should create accountability by constantly maintaining and demanding transparency in communication. Honesty is essential to the success of any mentorship program. Without trust, mentees will never be motivated to take responsibility for achieving their own goals and putting themselves to the task of making their mentor proud.
As with most lessons in mentorship, teaching accountability to a mentee can be challenging. A mentee must genuinely believe in the goals they set for themselves and their ability to achieve them. But if they lack confidence, in the beginning, a mentor's faith in a mentee and trust in their abilities can give them the motivation they need to get the work done.
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.