7 Ways to Be the Best Mentor Ever
Being a mentor can be just as transformative as having a mentor.

Mentoring can help leaders at any stage in their career develop valuable work, life and people skills, and grow their businesses, but it can be just as transformative for the mentors themselves. By connecting and coaching with a mentee, mentors can uncover deeper insights on life and leadership by embracing the role.

Related: 10 Ways to Find Your Ideal Mentor

So what makes a great mentor? We asked seven members of Young Presidents’ Organization to share their wisdom.


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1. Create a safe space.

 

As with all partnerships, mentoring only succeeds if both parties work at it, but it helps if the mentor makes it easy for the mentee to drive the process and achieve objectives. The best mentors learn to listen, help the mentees think for themselves and create the space for this to happen.

—Gerhard Van Der Horst, CEO of Crossroads Distribution

2. Get to know your mentee.

A great mentor takes the time to learn about the mentee’s desires, skills and shortcomings to better help the mentee chart a path for success.

—Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, CEO of BUILD

 

3. Share your experience.

Mentorship is a one-on-one deeper forum experience where the shared experiences are the keys to a higher level of self-awareness.

 

—Themba Baloyi, executive director of Discovery

4. Be inquisitive.

Asking the right questions helps to focus on the real issues. A mentor needs to try and separate the noise from the key issues.

—Richard Day, national general manager of Pam Golding Properties

5. Create a life strategy.

When coaching people on their careers, I focus on six elements: passion, lifestyle, values, economics, skill and demand. Thinking strategically about each of these elements lets you create a framework for a solid career1 map.

—Debby Carreau, CEO and founder of Inspired HR

6. Be a storyteller.

Effective mentors do not offer specific advice unless requested. Instead, we relate relevant experiences of our own that may help the mentee evaluate his/her issue better.

—Ahmad Al-Sari, chairman of Malaz Capital

7. Park your ego.

By opening yourself up to being vulnerable and telling the stories of when you were not your own finest ambassador, you might just create the proper learning for your mentee.

—Jannie van Wyk, director of business development of OnTrack

Business networkingFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities,[1] share information and seek potential partners for ventures.

In the second half of the twentieth century, the concept of networking was promoted to help businesspeople to build their social capital. In the US, workplace equity advocates encouraged business networking by members of marginalized groups (e.g., women, African-Americans, etc.) to identify and address the challenges barring them from professional success. Mainstream business literature subsequently adopted the terms and concepts, promoting them as pathways to success for all career climbers. Since the closing decades of the twentieth century, "networking" has become an accepted term and concept in American society.[citation needed] In the 2000s, "networking" has expanded beyond its roots as a business practice to the point that parents meeting to share child-rearing tips to scientists meeting research colleagues are described as engaging in "networking".[2][need quotation to verify]

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