Company Goals provide a road map for success. They help us to focus our time and activities in order to achieve organizational effectiveness. Good mentoring programs are shaped by specific program goals.
An effective leader needs talented and experienced people to assist them with a multitude of challenges. Good mentoring can do this as it provides three significant benefits:
- Reduces employee turnover
- Develops talent
- Produces leaders.
An effective mentoring program must provide a nurturing environment that allows the person to feel safe as he or she explores issues of concern. Mentors are chosen because the person needs to develop in areas where they feel uncertain. The successful mentor will provide a secure, trusting environment where growth can occur.
A good mentor program must have the following objectives:
- Provide opportunities for new skill development and growth. A good mentor will be resourceful and suggest reading, workshops and other experiences that help the person to acquire new skills.
- Name and focus on areas for growth. This requires a high level of awareness and openness for the person in question. The mentor needs to be sensitive and empathetic, as the person may feel defensive and emotionally ‘naked’ as his or her deficits are exposed.
- Offer suggestions. Here the mentor needs to pace himself so as to not get ahead of the person being mentored. A good rule of thumb is to stay a half step behind the person. In this way she leads but the mentor still can guide. Suggestions must be given when the person is ready to hear them. Making suggestions prematurely can impede the development process.
- Be a good role model. A person who really trusts you will look up to you and begin to replicate your behavior. He will observe what works for you and begin to test the behavior for himself. This person will be particularly interested in how you manage difficult or challenging situations.
- Help the person to think for herself. Do not give answers too quickly when others are wrestling with problems. A certain level of frustration is necessary for growth and development.
Mentoring can be very rewarding as the mentor watches the person grow and develop. It is always gratifying to work with someone who has less experience while possessing raw potential. A good mentor helps to cultivate those talents that guides others to succeed, which ultimately improves organizational effectiveness.