Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

~Benjamin Franklin

 There are numerous benefits to mentoring for your organization. Mentoring gives junior employees critical feedback and support, it passes knowledge down the organizational chart and it helps identify superstar employees. However, not all managers are equipped to be great mentors. Follow the seven tips below and you can become an effective mentor!

  1. Get to know your mentoree – An effective mentoring relationship centers on trust. To begin to build trust, get to know your mentoree. Determine what skills your mentoree has, what areas he needs improvement in, as well as what goals he has and what motivates him. This relationship needs to be about him, not about you.
  2. Become an advocate – An effective mentor advocates for their mentoree. Your role in this relationship isn’t to simply “train the new guy” but rather to help him develop the skills and experience that will advance his career.
  3. Offer both guidance and counseling – If you want to be an effective mentor, you have to go beyond being a teacher. In an effective mentoring relationship, the mentor becomes a personal advisor and sounding board, as well as guide warning the mentoree about potential organizational or situational hazards and pitfalls before they occur.
  4. Be a role model – The phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t fly in an effective mentoring relationship. Effective mentors model the behaviors and attitudes their mentorees will need to succeed within the organization.
  5. Start off on a positive note – It’s important to start your mentoring relationship with a positive experience. For this reason, an effective mentor will select a first project that the mentoree is most likely to complete successfully. Select something too difficult, and you’ll discourage your mentoree.
  6. Inspire and motivate your mentoree – Keeping your mentoree inspired and motivated is critical to an effective mentoring relationship. Effective mentors build links between the mentoree’s personal goals and desires and the organization’s goals. This builds ownership in the organization’s mission and keeps the mentoree dedicated, even when times are challenging.
  7. Be willing to learn from your mentoree – Lastly, an effective mentor knows this relationship isn’t a one-way street. You can learn from your mentoree too! Although the mentoree may not have as much experience as you, he may have more current theoretical knowledge. Plus, this “freshness” allows the mentoree to consider a situation without bias and allows him to create solutions you may not have considered.

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.


Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.