Being a mentor is an incredibly important role and can be extremely rewarding. It provides a great opportunity for sharing your own knowledge, skills, experience and passion when assisting others to make improvements in their own lives – personal and professional.
Sounding like familiar territory? This could also be coined a franchisor! As a franchisor you are also immediately a mentor. A leader. A confidant. A trusted partner that guides the way. In this role whether you see yourself as a franchisor or mentor you are in a position to transfer your skills, motivate and inspire others to achieve success and reach their desired heights.
You are a person of influence; inspiring others to work towards setting and surpassing their strategic objectives, and achieving their goals with minimal fuss but maximum effort because they now want too. The 3P’s – Person, People and Purpose.
1. Person committed to purpose:
A good mentor or franchisor excites people (or network) to follow their business and in a strategic way where the network follows the business and the franchisor / mentor because they want too not because they have too.
2. Purpose to achieve people:
Franchising provides the tool box to motivate people to build and grow – Human Agriculture.
3. People to influence:
A remarkable franchisor / mentor is one who has gotten their hands dirty and who is willing to still get their hands dirty. They lead from the front and from experience. Have the ability to listen to constructive criticism, be open-minded to feedback and suggestions, have the ability to try new things (take risks) and not be afraid to make mistakes, but more importantly learn from the mistakes made and share this information.
“Effective mentoring can be learned but not taught.”
(Handelson ed, 2005)
As mentors, we have multiple roles to fulfil in this relationship. These encompass being an adviser, being a supporter, having the ability to coach, source sponsors of various kinds and being a role model that continually demonstrates research leadership skills and values.
The best mentors are those that have been mentees themselves, we are never too old or too wise to be mentored!
Some of the best traits of a mentor are being accessible and reliable, valuing all parties’ time and efforts, keeping to timetables and ‘marking the homework’. Other remarkable mentoring traits include:
- Understanding: know your mentee’s skills, need and personal circumstance while acknowledging that these will differ from your own experience;
- Open-mindedness: respect for mentee’s individuality, working style, background, and career goals;
- Consistency and integrity: act on principles, demonstrate good values and ethical practices both personally and in a research context;
- Patience: doesn’t teach or instruct, assists the mentee to explore their options and supports them in taking action, finding their own solutions but assisting with the process of getting them there;
- Honesty: provides honest constructive feedback, sensitively and in a positive spirit – just like Tenzing Norgay!
The features of a good mentoring relationship are:
- Clear and precise roles and expectations: having clearly agreed reasonable, achievable and appropriate objectives that are prioritised;
- Communication: excellent two way communication. This stands for all methods of communication; whether verbal or written. Across all forms of presentation including online, print, internally, externally, marketing collateral, all communication. Two-way communication is highly important, a great leader is approachable;
- High level of trust: confidentiality is vital, as quite often mentoring ventures into personal circumstances;
- Inspiration and motivation: you need to aspire to inspire and motivate always.
“Remember, this is a journey that can take time to create, time to grow, time to change… until it’s time to move on.”
Blame No-One, Do Something, Expect Nothing.
Vicki Prout is Chief Sherpa at Sherpa Group. The team at Sherpa Group can assist clients in determining which international expansion model is best for their business and implement a structured process to guide their clients to a successful expansion journey. Implement your mentoring skills today.
For more information contact Sherpa Group on: Phone: 02 9267 6277.