Max Moreno of Idaho believes one of the most rewarding parts of enjoying a successful career has been the opportunity to mentor others. A good leader is always looking at ways to develop the skill sets of other team members as it can lead to success the whole company can enjoy. Having worked with thousands of individuals, Max Moreno has a successful track record of cultivating and mentoring individuals to provide the best work in their current roles and allow them to grow into bigger roles. Whether you are currently a mentor looking to become a better asset to your mentee or just looking to see what it takes to be a mentor, Max Moreno of Idaho offers tips and tricks below.

The first thing anyone should know about mentorship is that there’s nothing more important than availability. Mentors have to be trusted advisors to people in their time of need. This takes a good amount of selflessness to be done effectively. It is not uncommon for people to need their mentors at inconvenient times. Taking on a mentorship role means accepting that there will be times when the mentee’s needs will supersede the mentor’s needs. The best mentorships are built on mutual respect. This can mean a player-coach relationship where both parties benefit from working together. It can be a selfless act where the mentor gains by simply sharing their knowledge with someone they care about. It can be a relationship where the mentor is simply looking to become a better leader by mentoring someone in their own career journey. No matter the relationship dynamic, understanding the dynamic ahead of the commitment can lead to a smoother process.

Max Moreno of Idaho believes that understanding what you expect to gain from a mentorship-mentee relationship makes it easier to set the expectations upfront. A mentee must be just as willing as the mentor to put in the work to succeed. The whole process falls apart if there’s no mutual respect at the onset. The best expectation-setting parameters will often include how often you will formally meet, the success metrics, and the timeframe in which proposed goals should be met. Holding one another accountable is how growth happens.

When Max Moreno first became a mentor, he wasn’t actively trying to be one. It just naturally happened because he had a genuine interest in the well-being of his team members. Without a genuine interest in an individual’s success, it’s difficult to provide them with the support they require. It helps when there is a personal relationship as well as a professional one. Learning about an individual’s support system and the reasons they have lofty aspirations is essential to great mentorship. Everyone has a why behind their work. A mentor can gain much trust from their mentee by showing a genuine interest in the things they care about. To show interest, mentors should work to listen actively. It’s easy to talk to someone and constantly think about what you’ll say next instead of actively listening and absorbing what they say. A big part of mentorship involves being a reliable sounding board. Actively listening to the mentee will not go unnoticed.

Successful mentorships are built on trust. The relationship-building process should be an ongoing endeavor. Establishing a comfort level makes a big difference in how transparent a mentee is with how they are feeling and the struggles they are facing. Building a relationship outside of the office can allow a mentee to get more comfortable sharing their aspirations and the hurdles they feel are holding them back from reaching their potential. Once trust is established, it becomes much easier for a mentor to speak bluntly without fear of hurt feelings. When a mentee understands that the mentor has their best interest in mind, they become more likely to respond positively to constructive criticism.

Finally, Max Moreno of Idaho believes all mentors should consider when to offer solutions and when to allow the mentee to figure out a problem by themselves. Nothing is truly gained when the mentor handles the bulk of the work. It is vital that the mentee is given room to grow; sometimes, that means they will endure setbacks along the way. It’s the mentor’s job to make sure those mistakes become learning opportunities, and the mentee isn’t making the same mistake habitually.

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