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5 Guides for a Mentor and a Mentee to Bring the Best in Each Other Mentoring is an excellent way to give back and at the same time, develop or bring forth the best skill set in another professional

By Ananthanarayanan V

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Here are five guides for both, a mentor and a mentee, so as to bring the best in each other:

As a Mentor:

1. Time: Just because you feel you are ready, do not simply agree to mentor someone. Ensure you can do justice and share your time, skills in ways in which you can connect with your mentee in any way possible, online or face to face. In other words, make sure you can and you will be there!

2. Believe in Your Mentee: Mentoring is not a project, it's an art. And who better than Michelangelo when it comes to approaching art. A technique which is called the "Michelangelo approach". It is a theory which states that when Michelangelo worked on his sculptures, he already believed that there was beauty in it and all he had to do was to release it. So, as a mentor, have the ability to see that skill and talent and let them grow as you simply give them the tools and freedom to do so to become their best self.

3. Focus on Improving and Not Changing Them: A good mentor builds skills that he or she knows will be great in the industry today for their mentee. But a great mentor helps develop and hone the skills of the mentee in a way that will help them be the best in their industry.

"Do not try to change yourself- you are unlikely to succeed. But work hard to improve the way you perform ~ Managing Oneself: Peter Drucker"

4. Non-Judgemental: Have an open platform. Make sure your ideas, thoughts, etc are non-judgemental and non-biased. This will allow your mentee to freely approach you, ask queries without fear of being flatly rejected or ridiculed, make them comfortable and at the same time, give them the ability to take calculated risks.

5. Understanding How Your Mentee Learns is Core: Before you start mentoring someone, it's core to ensure that your teaching style can be adapted to the learning style of the mentee. Don't expect your mentee to adapt to your style of teaching. Few different ways to learn that are popular are by listening, reading, writing, watching and of course, for some, by doing. As a mentor, it's core to understand early on what will work.

As a Mentee:

1. Respect Their Time and Space: It's natural at times for a mentee to bombard the mentor with questions and try to meet or speak to them every now and then. But don't! Respect your mentors time and space. Understand if they are available and if so, what or how would they be comfortable connecting with you. Today, technology enables you to engage with each other in so many different fruitful ways.

2. Learn Beyond Skills: Many mentees make a mistake trying to focus on the skill sets of their mentors. Ensure that you go beyond skills and intelligence. Focus on the "what" and "why" behind your mentors actions. This allows you to understand their values, how they see life, which in turn will allow you to adapt and understand the process much better and channel it your way for your professional and personal development. Use these to channel your own skills, values and perception to further boost your efficiency and productivity at all times.

3. Not Just Meet, But Beat the Deadlines at all Costs: A mentor and mentee relationship is very sacred. Now, here you have someone, who is well known in the industry, who has accomplished certain status through tremendous hard work, grit and determination and has given you the opportunity to be honed under them. So when you accept a task given by your mentor, ensure to deliver at all costs and it's not enough if you make the deadline. Ensure that you beat the deadline and outperform your own commitments at all times. This allows your mentor to understand that you are taking this seriously enough for them to keep adding their time and inputs for your professional & overall development and push you further to be your better self.

4. Be Sincere: Be honest about what you feel you can accomplish, what you are not comfortable with and what are your expectations, right from day one. This allows your mentor to clearly draft a learning curve right from day one, sets their expectations while ensuring they are able to design ways to empower and truly design a dream success destination for you.

5. Self-Initiation: This is the most important quality of a mentee. You need to be self-initiated, take charge at times while respecting boundaries and your mentor's space and skills and at the same time, take few steps back or suggest ways to express that you are ready to be pushed even further.

Finally, here are a few things which are crucial and common for both, mentors and mentees.

- Give and Take: It has to be truly worth it: This works both ways. It's a pure give and take. A mentor gets the satisfaction of guiding and giving back from their years of learning and at the same time, the mentee ensures that he or she is committed enough to bring about the best in themselves.

- Mutual Respect: Helps in ensuring your relationship is professional at all times and helps both the parties to know what they can expect from each other.

- Success and Failures: Some of the most wonderful mentor/mentee relationships are the ones in which both of them have at various stages of their lives seen success and failures, especially professionally. This allows them to keep their feet on the ground while keeping their focus at the stars. Why? Because in such a relationship, both the parties know the value of grit, determination, hard work and perseverance!

"If you judge a fish by its the ability to climb a tree, it will look stupid ~ Albert Einstein"

So at all times, make sure as a mentor you keep sharing your affirmations and help your mentee build on their own!

Be Well
Ananthanarayanan V

Founder & CEO, Techdivine Creative Services

Ananth is a 3-time global award-winning digital marketing professional CMO Asia awardee and a global Peter Drucker Challenge first place winner in Entrepreneurs category across 40 countries. He is a renowned speaker, social media influencer, digital marketing & management trainer and digital strategist for some of the top corporate brands. He has published three books, the first one, Expressions, was covered by the Times of India team in Mumbai and his 3rd book on "Social media marketing Brand ROI" was among the most popular books in it's genre in USA and Europe on Amazon in 2015. His digital agency, Techdivine Creative Services founded in March 2010 has catered to 70 clients across 7 countries delivering digital marketing social media ROI solutions. As a corporate trainer, he has conducted hands-on training programs for 9,000+ participants across some of the top corporate and elite academic institutions. He loves automobiles, running, photography and sketching.   

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