Every mentoring should start off on the right foot. To form a bond with your employees, you need to make sure that they feel comfortable. An authentic relationship means that the employer and mentee should have mutual respect and understand each other. You can do this by doing the following:
Show warmth and interest. As a mentor, let your employees feel that you’re someone who’s easy to approach and that you care for them not just employees, but as individuals. Show kindness and let them feel your warmth. This will enable them to be loose and feel comfortable.
Initiate a friendly greeting. Instead of just diving right into the serious stuff, why not start the day with a friendly greeting? Ask questions such as “How is it going?” or “How was your weekend like?” Open-ended questions initiate a more casual and relaxed conversation.
Combine humility with humor. They may seem different, yet, these qualities both contribute to a successful employer-mentee relationship. Humility makes a mentor a good role model for the employees. On the other hand, showing your employees that you are laid-back makes them feel comfortable, and they will see you as a fun person to be with.
Have a relaxed demeanor. When meeting an employee, it would be a good practice to relax your posture. If the employee makes a particularly sensitive or important point, lean in to show that you are interested.
Not a ‘match-making’ process
Pairs shouldn’t be chosen only because their personalities are compatible. It’s not a blind date. A match should be based on the skills of the mentor and the needs of the mentee.
Acknowledge their strengths
As a mentor, your primary job is to help your employees reach their full potential. You do this by letting them recognize their strengths and help them to build around it. One of the qualities of a good mentor is his attention to detail. He/she should pay attention to what people do outside of work to see what talents and gifts they possess. As you get to know them, find out what they do after working hours and see how this aligns with their roles in the workplace.
Gain their trust
A high level of trust is needed in order to have an effective mentor and mentee relationship. A sign of mutual trust is seen by how an employee communicates with its mentor. When employees trust their mentor, they are confident to say what’s on their mind, sharing their goals and concerns to you. Of course, as with any relationship, building trust takes time and patience. To build their trust, make it your habit to do the following:
Acknowledge every accomplishment they make. A simple ‘thank you’ is more powerful than you can imagine. A single commendation can uplift their spirits, and will surely motivate them to keep working harder. Hearing someone appreciating their work will surely mean the world to them.
Be the one who sets the pattern. A successful mentoring is a two-way process. Model the behavior that you’d expect from your employee. Teach by example. It starts with you. Be the person that you should be, a role model.
Assist employees who need time off. Some people might have hit rock bottom. There will be times that they will experience severe stress from losing a loved one, an ended relationship or sickness. At these lowest points of their lives, be there to complete or assist them with assignments. Being aware of their limitations will make you more reasonable and sympathetic when they face these situations.
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