How To Be A World-Class Mentor To Others

How To Be A World-Class Mentor To Others

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World Class Mentor - Yoda Mentoring Luke Skywalker

Becoming successful in your own right is one thing; where the real fulfillment starts to come from is when you can use your skills to help someone else achieve their dreams. Through helping someone achieve their dreams, you get a similar but more powerful result yourself.

I’ve never been a formal mentor to anyone and recently I somehow fell into this role. No one told me what I had to do; I just did what I thought was right. Looking back, I wish someone had told me some of the basics of mentoring.

To stop you having the same problem, I have put together 6 skills that you need to become a world-class mentor:

 

1. Help them find what’s missing

Your most important role as a mentor is to help the mentee find what’s missing. What is missing in 99.9% of cases is a lack of passion or purpose. The person you’re mentoring wants to take it to the next level, and they feel lost.

In order to define where they want to go, and what they want to do with their remaining time on planet earth, you have to help them see what get’s them going. In my own mentoring situation, my student couldn’t work out what made him feel great about his life.

He is a spectacular leader, much older than me, a lot smarter than me, and has some entrepreneurial traits. When it came down to it, the only thing he did without fail, and that made him happy, was to lead people towards their destiny and keep them motivated.

All I did was look at his facial expressions and language when he responded to my questions, and within a few minutes, I could see that leadership was the correct path for him. When you mentor your own mentee’s go above and beyond to follow this strategy and uncover what’s missing.

 

2. Inspire your mentee to a new level

One valuable resource you have to offer as a mentor is inspiration. It’s easy to lose motivation and feel like you’re getting nowhere. Those of us who have achieved some level of success know that the road is long and treacherous.

With my mentee, I found that he had no idea he was a phenomenal leader. He took his number one skill for granted and didn’t realise that people loved working with him. He didn’t realise that all the un-complex tasks he did for his team every day were a rare trait that not many leaders have.

“As a mentor, sometimes all you need to do is become a magnifying glass for everything that is right in another person “

 

3. Challenge them

It’s not all fun and rainbows when you are a mentor. Being a world-class mentor as opposed to a mediocre mentor requires you to challenge your mentee. It’s your job not to let them slack off and tell them what they may not want to hear.

Challenging SomoneIt’s easy to pump people up with artificial motivation, but it’s much harder to find out where the improvements lie and to deliver them on a cold bed of raw potato. My mentee had to be told that while there was some entrepreneurial spark inside of them, it wasn’t standing out enough for me to recommend they start a business.

The myth that you start a business and you all of a sudden get more time and more money is rarely ever true. You have to love what your business is about and be happy to do it for free, for as long as it takes – that’s what true entrepreneurship is.

4. Use leverage

Giving terrific advice is rarely enough. Your job as a mentor is to get your mentee into action. The best way to do this is through people that they respect. These respected people need to become the mentee’s accountability partners.

What sucks about having me as a mentor is that I don’t waste any time and take my role very seriously. My mentee mentioned that they were having trouble getting their belt on because they had gained a little weight.

I instantly planted the idea about fasting. They thought the idea was good and asked me “when should I start?” I replied with “when would now be a good time.” They wanted to think about it, and I just went straight to, “you should have your last meal tonight before 8 pm.”

When they agreed to my proposal, I then started telling everybody I saw about what they were going to do to create leverage. While spreading the news, I saw someone else that looked like they could join in on the fast. Fasting Challenge - MentorI told them they had to give me an answer straight away.

When they agreed, they called their wife to tell them what they were going to do. Within minutes, I had emailed a leader they both respected to tell them of what the two of them had committed to. This approach had created unstoppable momentum and leverage that there was no going back from.

As of this writing, they have both finished their five day fast and have learned some valuable lessons that would have never been possible without leverage.

 

5. Intro them to others

It’s common in the business world to hold your Rolodex of contacts closely to your chest. As a mentor, you must relinquish this ridiculous practice and open up your book of contacts to your mentee. Find out who could add value to their life and then start introducing people to them.

I’ve been lucky in the last few weeks to have someone do this for me, and it has resulted in the opportunity to meet with some of the most famous technology brands on the planet. The effect on my life has been drastic, and this can only be achieved through generosity.

When you share what you have with others, you get ten times the return back. I recently shared some of my best contacts with someone, and now my friend and my contacts are conspiring together to help me achieve my dream. Bottom line; give everything you have without thinking.

 

6. Share your stories

magic open book of fantasy stories

As a mentor, there’re no training books or how to guide for mentee’s that lays out everything both of you must do. The training manual is the mentor’s repertoire of stories. In my coaching sessions, I regularly roll out stories from my entrepreneurial endeavors as a way to show people what’s possible.

Many of my stories demonstrate that you don’t need any qualifications or skills, just sheer determination, wit, courage, and the ability to take action. Every session you have with a mentee is your opportunity to bring out a story from the archives that relates to the battle they are having.

The more stories you share with them, the more references they have for achieving their individual goals. Stories are a unique way of teaching, and they keep the mentee engaged. Try to keep the stories sharp and to the point, and share even the bits that might make you vulnerable.

Do you believe you can be a world-class mentor? If not, why? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
Tim Denning is a former entrepreneur turned intrapreneur, working daily with fast-moving tech companies. He is passionate about what makes startups successful and is a thought leader/ game changer via the use of social media. Tim uses personal development and success as a platform for greatness. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook and Twitter.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Tim – Brilliant article.
    Short, to the point and super valuable.
    I’m about to coach (officially) for the first time a few people, and your advice came up at the perfect timing 🙂

    • Jonathan thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I’m glad you found this article at just the right time and best of luck coaching your first clients; it’s the start of something big for you!

  2. Thanks again for an awesome article Tim.

    It’s great to read articles with case studies in them, seeing how you practice what you preach.

    I love your phrase “Bottom line; give everything you have without thinking” If we help as many people as we can we will receive the same help back if not more in the long run.

    Thanks again

    • No problem Chris and thanks for reading. Giving is a key ingredient that all successful people practice as a daily habit. Change from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset and you will see a shift in your level of success.

  3. Great article. I think being a great mentor and being a great leader are two of the same things. If you have the characteristics to be a great leader, you will be a great mentor. The two most important things that I think a mentor should give their mentee is inspiration and challenge. I actually mentor a kid who is in the adoption system and reading this article gives me more insight into what I can do better as a leader and mentor. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Lawrence for the kind words. You’re observation is spot on and I love that you are mentoring someone and found value in this article. Keep in touch my friend.

  4. Great article, Tim. I was just coaching someone new to a senior leader role and we talked about your points. It got me thinking about the mentors I’ve had and how there are times, more often these days, that I need to be my own mentor and do exactly what you point out in areas 1-4. Of course, great reads like this, videos, books etc are all part of the mentoring process as well. Do you find that you mentor yourself as you mentor others?

    • Bryan thanks for the feedback. I don’t tend to think of mentoring myself but what i do find is that by mentoring others I learn a lot about my own circumstances. Through other people’s struggles there is great learning at the same time for me. Mentoring to me is all about being a leader and caring about the people you serve. It has been incredibly rewarding.

  5. The theme of this article for me is: ‘When you share what you have with others, you get ten times the return back.’ Beautiful!

    Tim, I have to be honest with you. When you started to work 5x harder, engaging yourself and others into this grind habit of awesomeness, I did not relate to it. I felt like resisting that path and resistance make it even stronger. I, and forgive me for saying that, thought that in pursuit of the quantity you may lose quality, that you’ll push yourself through, will stress out things in order to give life more and more articles every single day, and yes, that was fear that guided me to these thinking. The fear you may drop the level of your writing while chasing the hard work ethic and numbers. I thought you did it wrong, but that was me who mistakenly doubt the greatness you were about to embrace. I admit that with an open heart.

    Some time later I contemplate about it and realized, what am I complaining about? Now I have even more wisdom and knowledge, I have a far better chance to improve myself, I have this inspiration on a DAILY basis from an awesome teacher, guide and leader, one of the best, who tries his best, gives his best and do his best to motivate others to their success! Isn’t it something to be happy for, to be grateful for, to have a thing to celebrate? This world is the one we create and how we perceive it will define it’s role to our journey. Use what you have to make what you want.

    You’re a great motivational writer, Tim, humble human being, awesome and beautiful. Never let others gets you down, neither foe nor friend, don’t you ever give up and keep going every single day on your journey to inspire the world and make it better than it was yesterday! You have the greatness within, you know you can and will, in times of doubt and uncertainty you knows best. If you believe it is right, go for it, do not listen to anyone. They don’t know, only you do.

    Thank you so much for being you, you are amazing, peace and infinite love!

    • Toño I appreciate that you are happy to provide critical feedback and some of my articles can be a bit strange because they are designed to be thought provoking. We all resist hard work and changing our life (even me). Admitting this struggle is the first step. Thanks for your very nice words Toño and I love that you think deeply about all the advice that I give. The fact you are a real thinker is what will make you successful in the long term.

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