Research from the Harvard Business School indicates that mentorship programs can provide significant benefits for employees and organizations. In addition, great mentors play an essential role in supporting the growth and development of up-and-coming professionals. Here are six tips from business leaders on how to be a great mentor:
1. Foster an empowering environment: Neill Smith, head of infrastructure at The Scottish Government, emphasizes the importance of empowering mentees to achieve their full potential. He believes that creating an environment where individuals can flourish is essential for effective mentorship.
2. Provide guidance: Thierry Martin, senior manager for data and analytics strategy at Toyota Motors Europe, suggests that a good mentor should offer direction to professionals and allow them the freedom to explore new opportunities within a defined framework.
3. Encourage bravery: Bev White, CEO at Nash Squared, emphasizes the importance of pushing mentees out of their comfort zones and helping them to be bold and courageous in their career pursuits.
4. Identify opportunities: Roy Ben David, group director of data and analytics at Solaris, believes that great mentors recognize the potential in their mentees and provide them with unique challenges to help them achieve their long-term career objectives.
5. Build support networks: Sasha Jory, CIO at Hastings Direct, stresses the value of having both mentors and sponsors to help individuals navigate workplace challenges and politics. She also encourages a positive and solution-focused approach when dealing with obstacles.
6. Provide benefits to everyone: Hari Ramamurthy, technology fellow at The Home Depot, emphasizes the importance of ensuring that mentorship programs benefit not only the mentee but also the mentor and the broader business. He believes that a mutual focus on creating value for all parties involved leads to a successful mentorship program.
The insights shared by these business leaders highlight the multifaceted benefits of mentorship and the key qualities that embody a great mentor.