Every day superheroes are all around us. We just need to look. Mentors specifically become mentees’ heroes in the business world because they ‘train’ their protégés with specific skills in mind to become the next in line.
The theme for this year’s Casual Day Awareness initiative, where funds and awareness is generated for people with disabilities, is that of ‘Every day Superheroes’. This inspired us to identify and write about mentors in the workplace.
#1: They know which super powers they have – Mentors were mentees once. They were the protégé, the sidekicks at a stage, so they know what to expect. The ability to identify their own superpower and to build on their strengths, make them sought after mentors. Mentors who know themselves well and also learned from their own experiences are better equipped to communicate it effectively and efficiently to mentees.
#2: Courage – Stand up to injustice. Mentors have to stand up for their mentees and protect them against injustice…with the emphasis on ‘injustice’. This will not only build the trust, but will also show mentees by example how to combat conflict and problem solving in the right manner.
#3: Moral values. Mentors can distinguish between right and wrong and this should rub off on the mentee. It is important for mentors to stand their ground when it comes to moral issues and to lead by example.
#4: Stay motivated and be available. Super heroes are always motivated to fight crime and are always available to do so. Mentors should lead with motivation. Mentees get distracted, and sometimes are easily de-motivated, but through being readily available to listen and to advise mentors become their ‘go-to-person’ to recharge.
#5: Intelligence and Knowledge. Continuous learning and up-skilling is non-negotiable. Mentors should remain on-top-of-their-game with the latest trends and developments in their respective industries.
#6: Commitment and Honesty. When deciding to be a mentor, know that it means making an important and serious commitment to the mentee. Honesty and respect goes hand in hand. Mentors owe it to mentees to address concerns and problems to truly help them grow. Mentees might not want to hear it, but need to hear it. Although honesty is the best policy, remember to be tactful.
#7: Fight for others. Although we strongly advise against becoming socially involved with mentees, a level of compassion, empathy and standing up for him/her is recommended, but keeping objectivity and fairness in mind.
The right life or business coach or mentor is extremely valuable to personal and professional growth. The Mindspa Institute offers a specific course called Coaching and Mentoring skills training that will equip leaders with the tools to implement a mentoring and coaching approach to help unlock potential, reinforce strengths and counteract any negative behaviour, all with the aim of maximising the individual’s performance.
The concept and implementation of Mentoring and Coaching of individuals in business, grew immensely throughout the years in South Africa. Businesses recognise the increased value of retaining and growing star performers. Regular Mentoring and coaching sessions keep individuals on track in terms of the values, vision and strategy of the business and assist in the development of people in organisations.