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How to Mentor the Next Generation

Mentorship is a vital tool that can bring about the necessary change needed for the next generation of leaders. Most successful industry leaders will testify that they had or still have mentors. Mentorship benefits both the mentee and the business because it drives results. “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well, I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” said Denzel Washington. 

So, ask yourself the question: Will our future generation of leaders be ready to take over the reins? Many businesses are so busy with their day-to-day operations that they forget to do succession planning and overlook Mentorship Programmes which have become essential for businesses to grow. And yes, in most cases both the generation and knowledge gap are huge between mentor and mentee. Mentoring the next generation is no walk in the park and will take a strong commitment from both sides to close these gaps and grow stronger together. 

7 Pointers to mentor the next generation of leaders?

Today’s management teams have several concerns about their young generation of employees. More so, what is important to each generation and how they do things, differ vastly. So how do you bridge this gap when mentoring the next generation of leaders? 

  1. Determine compatibility. Make sure mentor and mentee, gel. Mentoring someone with whom you have nothing in common will be extremely difficult. Be open and honest and get a feel for one another. 
  2. Get on the same page. Sit down and talk. Listen with compassion and empathy about the concerns and the needs of the mentee. Align your goals. Although both mentor and mentee might have different ideas on ways of doing things, the important thing is that they have the same end goal in mind. They both want the business to grow and succeed.
  3. Don’t neglect the mentoring process. Always make time for one another. Don’t “forget” about the mentorship. Make a real effort to also show your commitment. Bond outside of the office as well. Have fun together but also treat the mentoring process as a business. Schedule regular meetings, set goals and deadlines and give positive constructive feedback. 
  4. Don’t beat around the bush. Be clear and assertive about what you as the mentor expect from the mentee. Build trust and respect between each other so that the mentee feels they have an ally. The mentee must never guess where they stand with the mentor. 
  5. Don’t skimp on the transfer of skills and knowledge. In so many instances, mentors might feel that if they give away too many tips of the trade or insights into how the job is done, they will be in direct competition with their mentee for their position. Remember, you are equipping the next generation and if you feel this, you should reconsider being a mentor. 
  6. Be patient with your mentee. Give them a chance to find their feet. Don’t get irritated and be patient. Take it slow and win their trust. 
  7. Learning is a two-way street. Mentees also have something to offer. Be open to learning from your mentee. They might know more about innovation and technology than you because they are younger. Use this opportunity to grow your own skills and knowledge to better yourself. You are never too old to learn something new. 

Bob Proctor said: “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”

Commit to succession planning and establish mentorship programmes within your business. If you are ready to take the next step to equip your mentors earmarked for these programmes, visit our website. The Mindspa Institute has an amazing course where we teach mentors how to get the job done effectively and efficiently.