Being a mentor is an enormously rewarding way to support and expand the project management profession. Nervous about jumping into the mentor role? Don’t be—use these tips to make the experience fluid and fun. Also check out: (GOING BEYOND MENTORING), (MENTORING MISTAKES SMART PMOS MAKE), (find-the-right-business-mentor) and (6 reasons-mentoring still matters)
1 – Be accessible. Set reasonable guidelines about off-hours contact, but realize that any professional with the acumen to seek out a mentor is no doubt focusing considerable energy on their career. By leveraging mobile phones, e-mail, and the occasional lunchtime chat session, your communication stream will be in good shape.
2 – Be yourself. Remember that your mentee chose you for the qualities and expertise you already possess. Talk candidly about your experiences and how your career has evolved. Answer any questions as openly and truthfully as you can.
3 – Share your network. Introductions to other professionals within your network may put your mentee in touch with potential job prospects, additional mentors, and increased learning opportunities.
4 – Share your failures. Offer your mentee an overview of how things sometimes go wrong, and how you’ve resolved issues in the past. This type of fundamental mentoring will help them develop the skills to spot trouble before a situation becomes unrecoverable.
5 – Don’t be a task master. Your mentee’s current job is likely occupying full-time status in their life, and the last thing they need is homework or additional tasks. Your role is to offer strategic advice and recommendations on educational offerings, networking opportunities, potentials for advancement, and helpful reading materials. Understand that your mentee will pursue these items as time and resources allow.
6 – Don’t betray confidences. Maintain a careful perimeter around sensitive or propriety information, both on behalf of your mentee as well as other professionals in your network. Generalize or aggregate data to offer solid information without disclosing inappropriate details.