Arunvignesh Ramakrishnan

Three Pro-Tips for Mentoring Conversation

Mentoring is a choice.

Mentoring is not a spare time activity. It is more a relationship. It needs to have both mentor and mentee know about each other well. Also, one needs to be committed to making the mentoring work.

Mentor Considerations

Mentoring is about the mentor willingly sharing their experience and knowledge for mentees to learn from them. The mentor needs to be mindful of the general behaviour of people.

Let us consider the concept of advising. Humans are, in general, good at heart. Therefore, if someone finds it difficult to find a solution, it is natural human behaviour to help them out.

But if you ask someone about their opinion on getting advice from a different person, the answer is usually a NO. In contrast, the answer changes if you ask them about getting the same advice from an influencer in a specific field. So always leave the mentee’s of their choice to consider or ignore your advice.

Mentee Considerations

Talking from my professional experience, I can recommend that, “If you want to grow in a field, find a good mentor from the domain.” The reason behind this statement is, it is a prime tool to rise above the mediocracy and succeed more.

There are multiple reasons why you require a mentor to succeed. The advice and information that you receive from a mentor help in your career development. It also helps you to drive through the different career paths. At distinct career junctures, you would need different mentors to guide you through.

Mentoring Conversation

The core of mentorship gets defined by the people concerned with the matter. However, it is a worthy point to note that real magic truly happens during productive mentoring conversations.

But, do you know what makes the process so special? Here are the three things that need consideration:

  • Humility and humanity are the two things that people bring with their relationships, provides strong power to mentoring.
  • Having a conversation helps in converting ideas and learning from two individuals into context.
  • The support system between a mentee and a mentor plays a prime part in outshining. Overcome the obstacles by learning from past mistakes.

If you put all of these aspects in a combined effort, you can make a powerful mentoring relationship. It impacts other people’s careers and lives, besides influencing the organization positively.

Three pro-steps will help you with mentoring conversations and developing profound relationships:

Develop a rhythm and flow

The foundation base between the relationship of a mentee and mentor is the conversation. It stimulates development in every way. The conversation quality truly impacts on a deeper level in developing a mentee.

Mentoring conversations require the right rhythm and flow. You need to find it and follow it right. Set a pattern in the conversations which suits the concern and follow it time and again. Notable points to consider are

  • The actional progress since the last meeting
  • Which actions worked and which did not
  • Recommending the next trial
  • Path to follow next

The conversation model must be cyclical in pattern, which you can follow through the complete relationship course. First, the focus needs to be on short steps to later jump into bigger goals to progress rightly.

Convert the mentoring conversations into actions

Conversing about issues and concerns with mentoring partners forms the mentoring foundation. You can take things further with productive conversations, which stimulates personal development. Close any conversation on an active note for the next step. The three ways to accomplish it are:

Focus on goals

  • Mentees: Focus on ideas and activities that can enhance your skills to make you closer to mentoring goals
  • Mentors: Think about asking the reason behind every action. It helps the mentee to move ahead towards the goal with a clear perspective. They can express better and present the reasons behind every action.
white ceramic mug with coffee on top of a planner
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Be practical

  • Mentees: Choose a straightforward way to adapt key learnings. Focus on actions that align with the principles of your conversations. Report your experience to the mentor and explain your observations to generate newer conversational dimensions.
  • Mentors: Guide your mentee by following their ideas to learn how to put the ideas into action in reality. Encourage discussions on both topics of what worked and what did not.

Model representation

  • Mentees: While conversing with your mentor, reflect on how the discussed concepts influence your existing behaviour. If you wanted to adapt to a new behavioural standard, what would that be?
  • Mentors: Honest feedback is the key. Tell them your honest observation of their behaviour. It would be better to share personal insights from your experiences with similar behaviour adaptations. Guide them on how you covered the path that they are on right now by sharing your learning experiences.

Expressing appreciation

It is vital to take out time to express your appreciation. You require to express your gratefulness to be a part of the productive mentoring relationship. It is a great conversation generator. It works by building a reliance and rapport between the two.

Do you mention the things that changed in your life for the mentoring relationship? Do you invest ample time to express your gratitude through practical examples related to your mentee or mentor? Also, do you tell them about their impact on your work?

Mentoring - Appreciation
Image credit – Unsplash

By opening up to each other, you can reduce the distance between minds. Expressing real emotions makes you feel closer to the person more. Therefore, it is vital for a strong mentoring conversation.

Consider the following conversation starters:

  • I am indebted for
  • Conversations are helpful for me when you
  • Your insights/personality/experience/words have helped me . . .
  • Your relationship means a lot . . .
  • I am grateful to you for . . .

It strengthens your relationship when you share genuine feelings. It develops your character as you learn to appreciate the good things. Also, it also creates a sense of commitment for both parties.

While you are still in the process of mentoring, keep in mind that it is a personal relationship. It is between two human beings who are having productive conversations. The conversations help them succeed in life and achieve bigger goals in the future.

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