As I grow older, I have come to learn that I do not know what I am fully capable of. I live my life in constant planning mode, trying to ensure that I get “it right”. Not too sure of what, “it”, really is. Over the years, I have adopted to my environment or new opportunities and just gave it my best shot. Nevertheless, I will confess that I don’t suffer from FOMO, instead I have grave anxiety about getting “it” wrong and making mistakes.
In my role, I often wonder if entrepreneurs feel this way or are they confident in their abilities. I recently found this quote and it really had me thinking – “How do you gain perspective if you don’t have someone to remind you what you’re working towards? When you find them, the right group of people pushes you out of your comfort zone, but in a safe space with a community that supports you no matter what happens.”
Mentorship provides just that – perspective! A good mentor usually sees potential in their mentee and they will keep pushing until that potential is fulfilled.
Here are 5 simple ways to help your mentee to reach their full potential:
1. Get to know what s/he knows: It is easy to believe that you are always the teacher in a mentoring relationship. However, your mentee comes with his own experiences and knowledge. So, find out: what does your mentee already know? What are his personal beliefs? What are his dreams and goals? What were his experiences? Why did you start this role or company? Understanding a goal helps you to set clear objectives and actions to achieve these goals.
2. Take an interest in his heart: Each of us have something or someone that affects our emotion. Who or what is that? Ask your mentee about their personal life, their family and anything that may be affecting your emotions (positively and negatively).
3. Go with your gut: In school I really hated multiple choice, I actually still do. Once my geography teacher told me to stop doubting myself because from the erased answers I am usually right but I just didn’t trust my gut. Allowing your mentee to take a risk or going with a gut feeling isn’t wrong. If you have however tried and failed at it, share your experience. Sharing your gut feeling is also acceptable but please declare that you are just going on intuition.
4. Ask what does s/he love to do: Each of us has something that we love doing even if it is taking a nap. Finding out what your mentee is passionate about, gets you into his soul. Finding out his passion will also help in how you bond with your mentee, it also helps you the mentor to know what will set your mentee off. Sometimes asking someone about their passion can result in an intense response or a a reflexive response. I always like the question, “if you had all the resources in the world right now, what would you be doing?”
5. Find out their skills: Many persons have hidden talents that they are unaware of. If you are able to to find out what s/he is good at then you may discover other hidden taps. Encourage your mentee to use his talent, whether in his role, company or socially.
Written by Kadeon Richards-Bailey, Mentorship Manager of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean
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