If you ask most successful people, they will tell you that mentoring had a major role in helping them to rise to the top. Think back on your own life, and you may find that older, wiser people influenced you for the better to get you to where you are now.
Taking a genuine interest in developing your workers is a major part of Marcus Buckingham’s First, Break All the Rules. He gives advice for how to mentor your workers, which people you should focus on, and the benefits your business can get out of mentored employees.
We’ll go through some of the top ways mentoring can improve your business from the book, as well as some helpful ways to get started.
#1: Finding Natural Talent
When you take someone under your wing, you’ll find out much more about them. For example, if you initially hire someone for their experience in marketing, you may never know that the same person has a particular aptitude for graphic design or public relations unless you take the time to get to know them. Resumes are never comprehensive of a person’s skills, and it can be easy to forget that!
Talking about seemingly unrelated things like hobbies and interests can also give you an idea of the talents in each of your mentees, giving you a broader picture of the passions that could be used to make their job more enjoyable and the work your team does more efficient.
#2: Inspiring Performance
According to First, Break All the Rules, the more interested a manager is in his or her employees, the more interested the employees will be in doing their job well. When people care about you, it’s hard not to care about them. It’s just a fact of life, and mentorship is no exception.
When you take on a mentee, you get to take an honest look at their performance and open up about the times you’ve failed. When you’ve picked a worthy mentee, they’ll be inspired by your trust and honesty, and will likely work harder or more efficiently as a result.
#3: Honest Feedback
When you’re a leader in your office, it can be hard to get real feedback from your employees, for one reason or another. However, you’ll naturally build a foundation of trust with your employee as you continue to have mentorship conversations. From there, you can open space for honest critiques on your business and leadership, as well as the things that deserve praise.
Give your mentee an opportunity to exercise what they’ve learned from you, and they can help you talk through or even solve some of the problems you’re facing in your position. You’ll get a second opinion while at the same time displaying a value for your employee’s thoughts.
Essentially, mentorship isn’t just meant to benefit the mentee, but it can benefit the mentor as well. You’ll get these three benefits and more when you implement mentorship to your leadership style.
To learn more about mentorship and managing people well, we cannot recommend First, Break All the Rules enough. You can learn more about the book here!