Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take an Employee Under Your Wing

An employee has asked you to be his mentor. You're flattered, but you don't know where to begin. Use these tips to help you guide your protege:

  • Take time to get to know the person. Resist the temptation to turn your mentoring relationship into a monologue rather than a dialogue. It may boost your ego to bombard your protege with stories from your past, but your relationship will be more productive if you get to know what the other person's values are, where he'd like to go with his career, and what struggles he's currently having.
  • Learn how to teach effectively. Think back on the various teachers and bosses you've had in your lifetime. Draw on the best examples as you guide them. Also, remember what techniques were not helpful and steer clear of those techniques.
  • Learn how to give negative feedback. It's tough to criticize people in person, but that's what's necessary in many mentoring relationships. Learn how to present your points tactfully and always keep your criticism as constructive as possible.
  • Celebrate each victory. Since your role as a mentor involves offering criticism, it's also important to seek out every victory and celebrate it.
- Adapted from "Be a Better Mentor," Bob Rosner

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