How can I be an amazing mentor?
I am thinking about becoming a volunteer for Score or another small business mentorship program. I have been a small business owner for over 30 years and I want to help others start their business. I have been thinking about experiences I could share, as well as different management styles that have and haven't worked for me. What other factors should I consider before committing to being a mentor? What traits makes a great mentor? Thank you for sharing...
That is awesome that you are going to mentor. The best advice I can give is to allow the person to experience some failure. Too many times coaches and mentors try to minimize the lessons learned from failing. Give your advice, but do not try to control their learnings. If it involves a not so great result, use it as a teaching moment.
For starters Deborah, your first move to wanting to be a mentor is stupendous. Mentors are not coaches. Need to say that first because many think they are the same. Coaches will help lead in a direction, mentors teach what they know.
You'll be great, just show what you know and learned. One thing to remember, everyone is different, and so are businesses. Be open, be honest, most of all be you.
1. BE YOURSELF
this comes out naturally and you don't have to put effort.
That being said, think about how you can make things fun and what you do to living things up in your personal life, and marry that with this role. Your style revolves around you,
2. IGNORE JUDGMENT
You are the only one who can CHANGE, Change yourself. You cannot change others, at most INSPIRE them by being who you are.
You may give instructions on spending money, and allocating money for the small business. I am into small business now. This is fifth month and I have not made profit. Can someone advice me on how to make profit on small income.
Deborah, My background is very close to your's and I am a mentor/coach. I mentor small business owners by one simple technic. It's all about asking questions, not providing all the answers. With this approach I am empowering the client to "Think." Most entrepreneurs know the answers, but don't know how to bring those answers to the forefront. Questions and patient pauses is a super tool to achieving success. www.TimRicke.com
If you are frankly asking this question, I may say as frankly as you are that it is obvious, you can not be an amazing mentor or a mentor! A mentor never ask this question... You can just be some one sharing own experiences, which is not mentoring.
The best mentors are good listeners who rather than give advice right off ask insightful questions that help the mentee to honestly face their own thoughts, fears and actions and then ask, "Have you tried..." and "What if..." and finally, "How can I help?"
You can get started at SCORE if that's a good fit, you can also practice honing your answer/advice skills at sites like this or others. I found a good opportunity by going back through my College, most Universities facilitate mentor programs.
Listen, listen, listen. You may never provide an answer other than where to find information or law or policies to consider. Question. Use successive refinement to guide toward solutions. Write an outline for the material that you may discuss so that you can provide some degree of structure. Think about what you have memorized and if and how it has helped.
All the answers already shared are excellent and include some very pertinent qualities in mentor - ability to listen, to give the right advice, ask the right questions, guide - not parent (I like this particularly).
Additionally, remember a mentor should establish himself / herself as someone to whom the mentee feels a strong sense of comfort to turn to, not only with their professional questions but also for any other issue, if required. This is my personal experience, and unless that bond is established, a mentor often gets restricted to playing a professional guide, rather than a 'friend, philopher, guide' rolled into one - termed collectively as ' mentor'.
All of the answers listed below are excellent,,, I've been in Score for 9 years so if you have any questions not answered yet, I will try to answer them for you.....