Feedback is Essential to Being a Great Mentor
Updated: Nov 3
Faster, better knowledge In the new workplace, mentoring has to be way more potent, because the stakes have been raised for quick knowledge transfer and for attracting and keeping the best talent. If you have direct reports, you must become a mentor to each and every person on your team. You can’t leave it to chance that they will be developed on time via outside relationships across the company or in their personal social spheres. You must do it on purpose–to speed up their impact on the job AND to keep them delighted about working in your enterprise.
What is the best way to mentor someone on your team? Continuous coaching with a lot of feedback. This applies to everyone on your team, but you may be ignoring either the best performers or the OK, not-so-skilled employees.
When an employee is super-talented and there’s a lot of trust between the two of you, you are totally willing to clue them in about company politics, how they could make a better impression, and maybe even how to dress for a client meeting or presentation. They are happy to hear your advice because they know you have their back. Likewise, you are grateful to receive and act on their feedback for how to connect better with your team. When the “attraction” is there, you will go pretty far to help them through honest feedback and vice versa. High performers are usually eager to grow and improve, so your emphasis on mentoring will excite them, motivate them, & retain them longer.
Decide that everyone on your team is high potential See ALL of that potential in front of you. Every single person you manage has huge potential to improve and grow in their job. And you are in the position to harvest that potential for mutual gain. What a gold mine!
Encourage, yes. But include plenty of improvement ideas For newer, less experienced, or slower-to-learn employees, they will really appreciate seeing a clearer picture of how to improve. They may already have the motivation to improve but never knew how. If you provide both positive and corrective feedback in an empowering way and send a clear message that you believe in them, mentoring will be a huge gift. They will think you are the best manager they ever had.\
Read The Feedback Imperative for more information on how to give great feedback!