Guidelines for Mentors
As a Mentor or Coach, it’s your responsibility to guide and advise the Learner. Here are our guidelines on how to best do that, so that both you and the Learner get the most out of your mentoring sessions.
Can you help?
Before accepting a mentoring request, ask yourself if you can indeed be helpful to the Learner.
First listen, then advise
Make sure first that you understand what the Learner wants or needs and the circumstances of their particular situation, before you provide advice. This requires active listening, focus and openness.
Give actionable advice
Recommend specific actions to take. This doesn’t mean that you should solve the Learner’s problem, but rather guide them on the path to finding a solution.
Be present and focused
Be present and focused. Your Learner deserves your full attention for the duration of your mentoring session. Don’t try to multitask even if you’re not meeting face-to-face – the Learner will notice if you’re not paying attention.
Admit it if you don't know something
It’s ok to admit to the Learner that you don’t know something or that you don’t have the right solution. Ultimately this will increase their confidence in you and in the advice that you do provide.
Keep an open mind
Even as the Mentor in a relationship, there is surely a lot that you can also learn from your Mentee, through seeing a different perspective, understanding how others perceive you, or getting an insight into an issue that a subordinate of yours might be having too.
Sometimes you need to read between the lines
Keep in mind that what a Learner actually wants or needs may be different from what they are asking for, without them realizing it. It’s the mark of a highly skilled mentor to realize this and to guide the Learner in the right way.