Mentoring relationships can prove valuable not only for the person receiving guidance, but for the mentor as well. While mentors can expand their mentees’ perspective and knowledge, mentors can also become exposed to different experiences and insight from their mentees. These relationships can prove symbiotic in a myriad of ways, but it is crucial mentors utilize their opportunity to serve as a respectable and positive role model. Here are four ways individuals can work toward being successful mentors.

Be Genuine

It’s crucial for mentors to be genuine in their personal interest in their mentees as well as their drive to see their mentee succeed. Mentoring relationships are intimate, and successful ones hinge on authenticity. Mentors prove most helpful when they want to help mentees achieve personal and professional goals in ways that best align with mentees’ personal interest. With the mentees’ best interest in mind, mentors are able to help them pave their own ways to success, rather than projecting personal routes onto them. This makes for a more strategic learning endeavor that ensures the mentees’ aspirations remain at the forefront.

Provide Insights and Experiences

Personal narratives prove valuable in setting up mentees for success and mentors should capitalize on these experiences. This sharing of narratives will help prepare mentees for what challenges they may face and can help promote strategies for perseverance. Mentors can also provide valuable insight that can assist mentees in decision making and provide information on routes they can potentially pursue.

Remain Receptive

When taking on mentees, mentors should prepare for longevity. Mentors should ensure they are committed to their mentee and consistently strive to receive and guide them, lending their attentiveness and advice. Mentees who feel as though their mentor is no longer invested in them are less likely to benefit from the relationship.

Provide Feedback and Advice

A successful mentor will be able to differentiate between constructive and unhelpful feedback. It is crucial mentors provide their mentees with feedback that proves insightful and augmenting. Mentors should also develop the ability to determine when feedback is helpful or unsolicited. As mentoring relationships prove so intimate, unwarranted or inappropriate feedback can be detrimental.

When it comes to advice, mentors need to tread carefully. While it may be tempting for mentors to provide unsolicited advice, mentees benefit more from open dialogues where they can approach mentors and discuss the situation. If a mentee is actively searching for advice, mentors can provide it in a way that guides the mentee, but ultimately provides just enough insight to help them arrive at their own conclusion or solution.  

Mentoring relationships can enrich and augment the perspectives of both the mentor and mentee. An admirable mentor ensures the success of these relationships by properly investing in and effectively guiding their mentees.