How to be a mentor

It is a great honour to be asked to mentor someone. Regardless of whether the arrangement is made through informal discussions or formal corporate schemes, you should take the responsibility to be a mentor seriously.
It can also be a great career opportunity for you. Working with a junior project manager can give a different perspective on project management topics. They are likely to have other experiences to share with your.
Consider the mentoring relationship as a partnership. Remember that you can learn as much from their discussions as you can! Consider any mentoring programs offered by your company. They may have mentors who can help you.
Now that you’re ready to mentor a colleague how should you proceed? These are five tips to make your mentoring relationship a success.
1. Create a Mentoring Program
What are you signing up for? You may discover that your potential mentee needs more than you can give.
Both of you should be comfortable with the amount of commitment required. You can agree on anything, from a weekly face-toface meeting to a monthly phone conversation.
This may require some flexibility. You might have to be flexible if one of your projects is very busy or involves a lot travel. Although most mentoring relationships can accommodate this, it is worth discussing it with your mentor before it happens.
Your mentoring plan will be built on this commitment. Even if the arrangement is informal, it is worth writing down what you have agreed to so that your mentoring plan is a kind of ‘contract.
2. Be available
Once you have agreed to mentor a junior colleague you should make sure you are available for them beyond the pre-arranged meetings. There is a possibility that they may have issues that they would like to discuss withyou outside of formal meetings. It will be a benefit to both of you if you are able to make time in your schedule to meet with them when they need it.
You should also let them know if you hear about an opportunity or something that could affect the project they are working on. Don’t wait for your next meeting. Give them a call and let’s talk it over.
3. Offer advice
Mentoring isn’t about listening to them and it’s certainly not about coaching. Give them advice if they ask. You have a lot to offer in project management and your experience is one reason this person chose you to be their mentor. You can’t expect them not to follow your advice. They have the power to make their own decisions.
4. Confidential
Mentoring relationships between mentors and mentees should be confidential so that both of you can feel secure in your discussions. This is important as you might be discussing office politics or working relationships between colleagues on the project team. Both of you need to be able to speak truthfully and openly, and that your words will not be reported back.
Your agreement to keep your mentorship relationship confidential must be included in the arrangement you make at the beginning.
5. Give access to your network
Access to your network is another reason why your colleague chose to work with you. They will appreciate being part of your network and the opportunities you create for them, especially if they are looking for a job or want to build their reputation.
While you don’t have to put them forward every time, it is important to encourage their interests. You might be interested in a job opportunity.