How to be a Great Mentor

As a small-business owner, you’re often a manager, coach, and mentor rolled into one. To make the most of your employees’ talents, you need to know how to develop their skills and knowledge. Learn how to be a great mentor to lead by example and transfer the skills your managers, supervisors, and experienced employees need to ensure the success of your corporate mentoring programme.

Be an Excellent Role Model

A fantastic mentor inspires respect, and those around him can learn a great deal simply from watching him. Always behave in a way you want your employees to emulate. If you lose your cool when dealing with a customer or come slouching into the office at lunchtime, your staff may decide to follow suit.

Take an Interest in Your Mentee

A mentor/mentee relationship is intimate and personal. Get to know the person you are mentoring, and build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Knowing what the person hopes to achieve and understanding his goals also provides clear guidance for personal and professional development objectives.


As a mentor, you have experience and knowledge that can benefit your mentee. You may have had great successes or experienced spectacular failures that apply to the person’s current situation. If sharing an anecdote can be helpful, do it. Your war stories can help someone gain insight faster than any discussions can.

Know How to Guide

One of the goals of mentoring is allowing a person to develop her own skills by thinking things through and drawing her own conclusions. Use open questions to guide your mentee’s thinking and draw out the solutions to problems. Never make decisions for the person.

Provide a Different Outlook

One of your most important tasks as a mentor is to act as a trustworthy sounding board for your mentee. You can offer a new outlook on a problem as an objective third party. Your opinion comes with knowledge and experience the mentee values.

Recognise Accomplishments

Recognising people’s accomplishments is a great way to boost their confidence. Instead of focusing on areas that need room for improvement in every mentoring meeting, spend some time reviewing successes too.

Be Committed

Mentoring is an ongoing process, and being a mentor requires commitment. When you enter into a mentoring relationship, you’re promising your mentee that you’ll be available, enthusiastic, and supportive.

Be Patient

Mentoring is a long-term process that can be as difficult as it is rewarding. You may need to provide honest feedback and constructive criticism from time to time, which can affect your relationship with your mentee. If either of you becomes angry, you need to be the patient one who keeps calm.

Don’t Neglect Your Own Mentoring

If a culture of mentoring in your business is important to you, don’t forget to have your own mentor. All the benefits your programme provides for your employees are available to you too. To be a good mentor, take advice from someone more experienced than you are.

If you want to learn more about creating and implementing a mentoring programme for your small business, Business Owner Coaching is here to help. Our experienced coaches can assist you with the entire process, from goal setting to post-implementation evaluation.

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