3 Quick Tips for Mentors
I often give lectures on a personal favorite concept— the 12 people you need in your life: 3 who inspire you, 3 people who would die for you, 3 people who understand and support you to your core, and 3 people you promote and champion. Let’s touch on these last relationships: those you champion.
Who are you mentoring? Who are you bringing up behind you?
Developing and nurturing relationships is incredibly important— especially in medicine. Our brains are programed to focus on our fears, our flaws and our failures. This enhances our chances of survival yet adds a block to seeking out opportunities and taking calculated risks in our careers and our own personal development. Strong, healthy relationships with people who believe in and champion us help us when we are faced with two universal and limiting questions “Am I worthy?” and “Will I belong?” (Thank you, Brene Brown.)
A mentor breaks down limiting beliefs and encourages positive actions.
Here are three quick tips to help you become a valued mentor:
Get on the same page. Set clear expectations at the beginning of a mentoring relationship. What is your mentee looking for? What do they want to learn? What can you offer? Agree to be in touch on a regular basis— at whatever interval works for both of you— and stick to it.
Listen. Really listen. Your patients, family, friends and mentees benefit from your honed listening skills. Really hear your mentee’s challenges, their definition of success, their aspirations, and limiting beliefs. Offer advice when asked and sharing your own experience— this includes the successes and the failures. Often, openly sharing their struggles and hopes to a trusted ear will spark ideas and open pathways for development and advancement.
Be a connector. This is my favorite part of being a mentor. I am surrounded by driven and talented people. Being able to connect the skills of one person with the needs of another is one of my greatest joys.
I speak to a wide array of groups and organizations about the power of mentorship and the positive impacts those sorts of relationships can have on careers and the work environment as a whole. Learn more about how we can work together.
What are your favorite ways to cultivate a fruitful mentorship? Tweet me @TracySansonMD!