As busy professionals, we rarely find the time to proactively mentor our staff, and when we do find the time it can be hard to stay on task. Here are some simple but important suggestions to keep your mentoring meetings productive and fulfilling.
- Don’t look at your phone. I know this sounds simple – but we all do it. We get sucked into the virtual world of checking email/Facebook/Twitter/Intagram/texts instead of focusing on the person in front of us. Leave your phone off or in a desk drawer and actively listen.
- Have an agenda – or don’t. Does the employee you are meeting with like to stay on task and know what to expect – or are they more free flowing and chatty? Know the personality and preference before you schedule the meeting so you both are prepared.
- Be on time and stay on schedule. No one likes to be pushed back or ignored – it makes the employee feel less valued. Make every effort to meet on time and stay in the time frame scheduled.
- Compliment the positive. Sometimes mentoring and coaching sessions are more discipline-based. Try to always notice and recognize what the employee is doing right. Also make a point to learn how they like to be recognized. Some people do not like public recognition for a job well done, while others relish in it. Learn each employee’s style.
- Ask about their life outside of work. Not everyone likes to share, but everyone likes to know that you care enough to ask. You never know what obstacles people could be facing outside of the office unless you ask.
These are just a few tips to help make your mentoring and coaching sessions more productive and beneficial for both you and your staff.