Mentoring that Matters: 4 Tips to Guide You
Tammy Y. Allen, Director, Marketing & Programs, The NIIC
There is such positive energy at The NIIC and so many opportunities to expand knowledge, connect with entrepreneurs, and learn from the best and brightest. Like our recent Mentoring—Making a BIG Difference Workshop, made possible by Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) and Fort Wayne SCORE and led by Toni Widman and Jackie Delagrange, Integrated Talent Jobs—all experts in talent development. I have served as a mentor and been a mentee during most of my career. I highly recommend it! There is value in both roles. Here are four tips gleaned from my experiences and from this dynamic workshop.
1. Generosity: Give without expecting anything in return. The most gracious mentors know that their success and experience means they are in the position to help. Likewise, mentors gain a lot from mentees. There are no strings attached.
2. Vulnerability: This is admittedly a hard one for me. I am sure I have lots of company here. For both the mentor and mentee, there needs to be a willingness to identify and admit weakness. Leaving our egos at the door ushers in opportunities for greater things to happen.
3. Candor: This is honesty at the most basic level. It means valuing someone enough to call them out on their false logic or excuses. This is so they can become a better version of themselves. Don’t underestimate their ability to accept the truth.
4. Accountability: Are you doing what you said you would do? Compatible mentoring matches embrace the importance of being held accountable and honest. Talk is cheap, as the saying goes. Action speaks louder than anything you can say.
Mentoring comes down to helping to maximize strengths and to minimize weaknesses. It is working to carve out greater success. Mentors remind us of who we are and empower us to push forward on our paths. Pouring into someone else’s life is a way to pay it forward. Most of us owe someone a debt of gratitude for encouraging and coaching us. Who has mentored you? Is it time for you to pay it forward?
Hungry for more mentoring information? Join us for our upcoming mentoring (and other) workshops, featured on the event page of our website.