5 Tip Tuesday: How to be a great mentor

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When you hire a new employee your relief at getting some help with your business needs can be overwhelming. Help, FINALLY! Don't let your feelings of relief overtake your feelings of responsibility. As Peter Parker's uncle said, "with great power comes great responsibility." You aren't just a boss, manager or overseer you are a mentor. Say it loud, say it proud "I am a mentor!"

Here are five things you should do to ensure you are a great mentor:

1. Give gifts.

Great mentors not only tell you what you need to know, they make you write it down. Giving your new mentee a notebook to write down your instructions, tips and tasks is an excellent way of keeping track of what you've assigned and what you are teaching. If you are a mentor with deep pockets, a laptop or a tablet will also do it even better. Whatever it is, give gifts your mentee can use on the job.

2. Provide opportunities.

Your network is one of the most valuable business resources you've built. Expose your mentee to your super business network; business partners, vendors, suppliers, mentors, coaches and friends. Let them meet the contacts that help your business run and teach them how to make new connections and deals that will benefit your bottom line. You are a team leader, you have to teach your players how to maneuver in the game.

3. Make time.

Make time to explain a process to your mentee in detail and make your expectations clear. Schedule check-in meetings, or regular instructional sessions. Whatever you do ensure that you clear time in your day to ensure that your mentee understands what is expected of them in detail. You are there to help them gain knowledge. Make time to mentor.

4. Be honest.

No one is perfect and that certainly includes you sometimes ;-). Admit to the mistakes you have made in your career and business. Show your mentee that it is possible to come back from a fall. Admit to your mistakes so that your mentee can relate to you as a person and not just as a boss. Show and tell your mentee how you were able to overcome your obstacles and you will encourage them to overcome their obstacles too. 

5. Have fun.

Work should be what you live to do not only what you do to live. Show your mentee the parts of your job that you enjoy. Drudgery is neither attractive nor sustainable. Get your mentee plugged into the parts of the job that are fun and you will have an easier time convincing them that the parts of the job that are boring or difficult are worthwhile. Work is complex and necessary but it can also be a wonderfully large part of a life you love. There is a reason you have chosen the business you're in. Ensure that your mentee can see the purpose as well as the pleasure of your passion.

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We are always looking for heroic mentors and mentees at Black Leopard Public Relations. If you have identified an area of opportunity for mentorship or mentoring with us, please let us know at info@blackleopard-pr.com.

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