Dr. Benjamin Mays, Fred Birney, Mary Duncan. You may not recognize any names of these individuals, but you will certainly recognize those who were influenced by their mentorship.
Dr. Benjamin Mays helped mold a young Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into the inspiring activist he is known as today. Fred Birney’s fiery passion for high school journalism stirred a young Walter Cronkite to eventually become “the most trusted man in America.” That something special Mary Duncan saw in a little fourth-grader would soon grow into one of the most celebrated personalities — Oprah.
The products of these unsung heroes’ guidance truly embodies the fact that mentorship can be a powerful tool. Below are four tips on how you can become an effective mentor.
An industry topic or task may seem commonplace to you but could require some extra work or thought for your mentee. Be sure to view each of your “lessons” from their perspective to help you better present the information in a way that they will retain it. Also, providing guidance on previously learned topics from a differing viewpoint may highlight new concepts you may have yet considered.
When you take on the commitment of being someone’s mentor, you have to go in knowing there will be certain instances where your mentee may not meet expectations. Be sure to keep your cool, let them know what they did wrong and how they can do better the next time. Having patience with them will build trust between both of you and allow them to try again without being afraid of messing up.
Remember to not mistake being patient with allowing the mentee to continuously make the same error without constructive criticism in fear of hurting their feelings. This could lead to bad habits and potentially an inefficiency in your mentorship and their success.
Your mentee is here to learn from you as well as explore their own ways that they can grow. That being said, actively listening to them can be a key facilitator to your mentorship.
Be open-minded to their suggestions to let them develop autonomy, but be sure to provide positive feedback and constructive criticism when needed. Who knows? They may even present a fresh idea that will better your own work in the long run.
As a mentor, you will be surprised by how much you can take away from a mentoring experience. Set the bar for yourself just as high, if not higher, than you would for your mentee. That way, both of you are able to take away as much as possible during this rewarding experience.
The financial services industry’s growth is slowly diminishing as the number of baby boomer advisors retiring greatly outweighs the number of industry entrants. One reason many are hesitant to enter the business is due to the barriers of entry which can range anywhere from high startup costs to a lack of actual experience.
This industry can be intimidating without the proper guidance and plan to find success. If you are interested in helping provide your mentorship to better a future advisor’s career, your practice’s manpower and the industry’s future, contact our Marketing Department to get more information on our mentor-based advisor training program, Essential Lessons for Investment Training Excellence.