Recently I developed a Peer Mentor Programme within an organisation.
I thought it could be helpful to share a brief overview of how to be a good mentor. You don’t have to have a formal arrangement in place to be a mentor. Most of us at some point will be asked for guidance in a situation. This is mentoring.
As a mentor, your role is to ask questions and listen to responses. You can reflect back what you have heard and encourage positive, future focused goal creation.
There’s a useful acronym that I first came across when training to be a Mosaic Mentor, I have adapted it slightly to suit adult to adult, rather than adult to child mentoring.
Be a CRAFTY Mentor
Curious – be genuinely interested in your mentee’s perspective
Responsive – connect with how your mentee is feeling, their mood and motivation
Assertive – be firm and persistent in encouraging clear, measurable and timed goals
Focused – be present, keep an eye on boundaries and manage the conversation
Thoughtful – be considerate of your mentee’s personality type and needs
Yes – create a positive environment with a ‘yes’ attitude to making progress
As a mentor it is imperative that you have clear boundaries. You are NOT expected to solve problems, or do the work for your mentee, they own their action plan and are 100% accountable for acting on their goals.
A mentor is not a counsellor. If you find yourself in this territory, reflect this back to your mentee and suggest that they seek professional support.
Encourage and support your mentee to have tricky conversations or to raise concerns, without feeling obliged to be an advocate for their ‘cause’.
It is important to form a solid agreement with your mentee; you invest your time with respect, by listening carefully and encouraging open sharing of goals and fears, your mentee is asked to be honest and responsive to your questions.
Demonstrate that you value your mentee, by showing up wholeheartedly, honouring your commitments and being present, and ask them to do the same.
Finally, make sure that you do what you say you are going to do, accept and admit when you can’t and ask your mentee to do the same.
*adapted from Mosaic’s How to be a Mosaic Mentor