Hi Good People. This week we wrap up our two-week leadership/mentor series with a few tips on how to mentor. We’ve discussed that an employee may have strengths in some areas yet need development of other skills. A good organizational leader recognizes the value of seeing that person become who they need to be and not remain where they are. So how can leaders help this process along? Here are five tips:
- Identify the skill to be learned. Say for example your employee is less effective in project management but wants to improve. Help your employee first understand the connection of the skill (ex: project management) and how this element impacts and benefits the project and persons involved overall. It is recommended to break the approach to new skill development into small pieces so it is easily understood.
- Set clear goals and expectations. Explain the goals with your employee, then establish benchmarks to measure if the employee has improved.
- Demonstrate the skill. Everyone learns differently; some by hearing, some by watching. Most people learn best by doing. Show an example of the skill/task and explain why you’re doing it and then allow them to perform the task.
- Allow time for practice. In any new venture, there is likely to be trial and error. Be patient as your employee grows into this new task. Ask in what area of the task they are experiencing the most difficulty and help to clarify what’s expected for this task to be successful. Answer their questions for clarity.
- Give constructive, regular feedback and assess progress. Share with the employee how they’re doing, if improving or if specific elements need revisiting. Good feedback will ensure both leader and mentor are on the same page and the next steps to success can be plotted out.
Thank you for joining us in this leadership series. We hope these tips serve you and those you choose to influence. When you care to invest in others YOU are the mentor tool.
By: Nicole Hayes
Nicole brings a strong background in consumer outreach, partnership development and media relations to McKinney & Associates. Many of her communications strategies were cultivated during her work with international public relations agency Fleishman Hillard Inc., where she developed and implemented strategies and media relations outreach for large consumer and government clients. With her skilled foundation, Nicole sought a career to support her core belief that people make the best investments and launched her own D.C.-based media relations consultancy, Pieces of Life, to serve small businesses and non-profit organizations.