Mentoring is like running a race. For both, you have:
In other words…
So, to become a great Mentor, you have to master all four. And each requires a combination of:
- Asking the other person good questions – like “what are you looking to achieve?”; and/or
- Guiding their thinking – like “in my experience, in situations like this, people are often thinking X or Y. Does that sound like you?”
- Know your first questions, to start them speaking – “Are you having fun at work?”, “How can I help you?” etc.
- Know your second questions, to uncover more detail – “Tell me more?”, “Why’s that exciting/worrying?”, “How do you know that this is the case?” etc.
- What are looking to achieve?
- How will you know you’ve achieved it?
- What value will it bring when you have achieved it?
- What’s the best way to achieve these goals, in your opinion?
- I’ve seen others achieve this by doing X or Y. Would either of these work for you?
- What obstacles will you face, in achieving this?
- How will you overcome these?
- One thing I’ve seen work is X. Is that worth trying here?
If you already have some good questions – ones that uncover the answers you need – great: keep using them.
But if not, invest time developing them, and practising them until they feel natural. Both you and your colleagues will be delighted you did.
For your next mentoring conversations, think in advance what questions you’ll ask, to find what you need to know.
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