Tandym Group Mentorship Guide

- Mentorship at a glance -

What is a mentor?

Now that you have settled in, it’s time to pay it forward! Being a mentor provides an extremely important transfer of knowledge across Tandym Group so that the next generation doesn’t spend extra time doing what you have already accomplished. By being a mentor, you provide a sounding board for rising stars to learn from prior to direction and experience so that they can make better decisions in similar scenarios.

[BLOG] The Definitive Guide To Mentorship
Why is it important to be a mentor?

"Mentors are incredibly valuable, not just for providing guidance and training to a new person; they are also reassuring," said James Nuttall, content manager at It Works Media. "A mentor has been the new kid on the block and understands the stresses and fears that come with that position. For this reason, they remember how they felt when [they were] in that position and [are, therefore,] able to guide another person through the journey."

By providing this reassurance, mentors can increase the confidence of newer employees.

[BLOG] Why Mentorship Is Important In Building Your Career
What makes a good mentor?

Some of the most important traits in a good mentor include patience and listening skills. Mentoring is as much about counseling as it is transferring knowledge and leadership skills. That takes practice!

[BLOG] 5 Things Great Mentors Do

- Tips for getting started -

Communicate and listen

Your mentee should ultimately oversee their own career path. You help them achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. Don't inject too much of your own desires or opinions into their plan. Ask them about their aspirations as well as their expectations of you. For example, are they looking for support, guidance or insight? This must also happen without judgment. If your mentee feels too insecure to ask a question, you need to find a way to earn their trust and build their confidence. Communication is 99% of a quality mentor-mentee relationship. If the two of you can't clearly share ideas, thoughts, opinions and feedback, then it defeats the purpose of the relationship. A mentee needs to be able to confide in the mentor. Without this trust, the relationship will not succeed.

Deliver honest feedback

While you don't want to judge or offend your mentee, you shouldn't filter your feedback to avoid hurting them, either. There is a way to deliver criticism without breaking their confidence. Sharing your experience is a great way to send a message without criticizing them directly. For example, tell them about a mistake you made and how you learned from it. If the mentee is savvy, they will see the comparison and the subtle message: "Don't do what I did, and here's why." The point is to educate, not tear down the person.

Practice empathy

It's important to relate to your mentees and understand their perspective and feelings. If they're having a bad day, you should pick up on their energy and work to help them through it. You might think empathy cannot be taught, but with practice, you can achieve higher levels of empathy. This requires effort: listening more, being curious about others, appreciating those who are different from you, illuminating any innate judgments, and educating yourself to break false stigmas and ignorant notions. Times change, and so do organizations. If you can put aside your own feelings about how things were hard for you, you can speak far more clearly to someone who was able to avoid that challenge and still rise to the same role and expectations.

Let your mentee make decisions

Because you "know better," it might be tempting to take the wheel while your mentee rides shotgun. This is not how your relationship should operate. Your job as the mentor is to help a mentee learn their role, not to do it for them. One of the most important skills the mentee needs to develop, with your guidance, is the ability to think on the spot with competing demands and high pressure. Some call it creativity; others call it common sense. Whatever you call it, your mentee must be able to solve problems on the fly. Your role as a mentor is to help them develop those skills. If you believe in your mentees, and you make that clear to them by allowing them control, they will have much more faith in both you and themselves.