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I was recently asked by a reader of this blog "How do I know if I'll be a good mentor?"
Excellent question! It's natural when deciding whether to commit time to an activity to want to know if we'll even be good at it.
Here are 3 simple things to consider:
- Do you have a strong interest in mentoring? Usually when we are passionate about something we'll be really good at it. If we're not good at first then we'll get much better at it with far less effort than someone who's not interested in that activity. You probably wouldn't be reading this blog if you weren't excited about mentoring and all the gifts it has to offer so you're already on the right track.
- Realize that there's a lot of chemistry involved. Not everyone will be a good mentor to everyone else. As highlighted in past posts such as "Tips for asking someone to be your Mentor" the Mentor and Mentee need to "click". A successful mentoring relationship needs to be built on trust and mutual respect. Also you need to ensure that the candidate mentee is looking for the kind of mentoring you have to offer. If not, it doesn't mean you're a bad mentor. It just means this wasn't the right pairing. So keep looking!
- Finally, just try it! You never know if you'll be good at something until you try it. There's very little downside and lots of upside to mentoring for everyone involved. Once you've had the experience you can decide if it's something you'd like to continue. Mentoring is the kind of activity that the more you do the better you get. It's as simple as that.
If at the end of any of your mentoring conversations your mentee says a sincere "thank you" then you've succeeded.
“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” - Anon.