Sharon Stanley has picked the brains of TIME’s amazing mentors and condensed the key learnings into 8 Key Tips. If you’re a current mentor or still thinking about it, there’s something for all. Read on
Are you a mentor who’s interested in best practice and how you can build on your effectiveness to add more value to your mentee?
Or have you been thinking about becoming a mentor? Looking to pay-it-forward in the industry? Keen to share your wealth of knowledge and first-hand experiences with those making their way up the ranks, but unsure how to go about it?
At TIME we are fortunate to have the support of over 100 mentors who bring their knowledge, experience and wisdom to mentoring hundreds of aspiring individuals in the travel industry. As our reach continues to grow, we’re looking for new mentors to join our passionate and supportive community.
To help get you thinking, we’ve taken tips from that community to share the top 8 things an effective mentor does.
But first, what is a mentoring? It’s not rescuing, counselling, managing or consulting. Instead, a mentor is someone who offers advice, support, and guidance to facilitate a less skilled and experienced person’s learning and development.
1.Set up the environment and the structure by:
- Providing a quiet, conducive setting (IRL/virtual)
- Outlining the session structure – TIME offers an excellent framework
- Scheduling the first few meetings
- Preparing for each session.
2. Build trust and rapport by:
- Being their authentic self
- Setting expectations
- Creating a safe space for open discussion
- Sharing knowledge and information.
3. Help clear the clutter and get to the core of what the mentee wants to achieve by supporting them to:
- Sift out the ‘noise’ in their work and life
- Focus on solutions rather than problems
- Visualise (before planning) where they want to get to in the next 6 months
- Build self-awareness
- Identify strengths and weaknesses
- Find ‘that one thing’ that makes a difference
4. Follow up the mentee on their actions.
5. Hold the mentee accountable.
6. Mentor the person not the role.
7. Support and encourage and remind them of what they’ve achieved.
8. Are always present and actively listening.
What they don’t do is:
- Be disorganised – they respect the mentee’s time (and their own), get to sessions early, prepare points to discuss, set homework and follow up.
- Act preoccupied – they give their time unconditionally: phone off, quiet location.
- Tell the mentee what to do – they don’t resolve the issue/challenge for them, instead they help them explore options and offer activities that will move them in the right direction, enabling them to find their own path and solutions.
- Make it about themselves – mentoring isn’t telling people to do what you’ve done; it’s using your experience to facilitate their learning and development.
And an extra tip. Do it! Our mentors agree it’s enormously rewarding and that nurturing and watching someone thrive and flourish is a priceless experience.