The problem a lot of people come across with mentoring is that the mentors don’t have time to mentor on top of their normal role. We’ve all been in a situation where we’re not quite sure what’s expected and our mentor isn’t available. If this is problem you face, why not try the following:
Use a silent mentor
Step 1: Identify the person you want to mentor. This could be your boss, a subordinate, a close friend, a coworker, anyone at all who has a skill that you need. This must be a person that you see frequently enough that you can do the following steps.
Step 2: Get yourself a notebook. Easy!
Step 3: Whenever you are around your mentor and you see them do something that you wish you could do, watch their behaviour and mimic it. Sometimes it’s appropriate to let them know that you’re doing it so they don’t think you’re making fun of them, other times you can quietly copy them. Notice the following:
- Facial Expression
- Tone of voice
- Types of words they are using
Step 4: As carefully as you can, make a note of these in your notebook however works for you and practice doing them in front of a mirror or video camera so you can watch yourself back. Do you remind yourself of them?
Step 5: Next time you need that behaviour, remember all those little elements that make your mentor so good at it and use them. It might be that all it takes is putting a smile on your face.
This way your mentor doesn’t have to do anything extra to help you other than behave as normal. Good luck and let us know how you get on.