Skills for Mentoring Others

In your working life, you might find yourself tutoring or mentoring someone else. This may be a normal part of work for you but, for those who have not had to act in a training capacity before, you may be left wondering how to be a good mentor. Some skills for this can be learned, whereas others will depend on your personality type. To be able to effectively mentor another person, the following skills may prove to be particularly useful. 

Communication

Being able to engage with another person and relay information to them in a way that it will be memorable requires a certain level of communication skills. You need to be able to not only speak to the person or group, but also be able to listen. If they have any problems with whatever you’re teaching them, being able to listen and adapt is crucial. Keeping communication lines open can also help to build a stronger working relationship that will last into the future.

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Empathy

When working with any person, a level of empathy can help. Understanding your colleague or trainee’s emotions can help them learn more effectively. We all have times where we find things challenging. It might be the subject, a lack of self confidence, or even an outside factor such as a personal problem at home. A little bit of empathy can make mentees feel more understood, and help you to figure out ways to proceed with your mentoring that are more likely to be met with success due to taking the person’s other problems into consideration. 

Listening

To reiterate an earlier point in more detail, listening to people is crucial. This will help you figure out the person’s strengths and weaknesses, gauge which areas they need more support with, and whether or not they understand what you have relayed so far. Good listening skills also can be passed on to others. If a person feels heard and validated, they too may listen more and validate others. Usually, this can be seen with parents and children, but can also occur in the workplace. 

Putting in the Time

If you treat your mentoring like a job, you may not always meet with success. On the other hand, if you are willing to give them your time, or even spend a bit of time after work looking into other ways you can assist them, you may find that they respond better to your lessons. While this may seem like a bit of an inconvenience, particularly if this extra time is unpaid, it can mean a lot to the person you are working with.

Mentoring others does not just entail having the relevant information and diligently reeling it off to others. It also involves building a good working relationship with the other person and ensuring that they are confident within their learning. 

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