Business Mentors: Focus on What Works Best
Business mentors help employees observe, experiment, and evaluate different ways of doing work to find out which strategies work best. Get started with these tips:
- Explain what works for you and why. Telling a protégé what to do in a specific situation doesn’t really teach them much. You’ll be more effective if you communicate as explicitly as you can what strategies and techniques have worked best for you. After a meeting with a client, for instance, you might tell the protégé why you took the approach you did, and how you would have done something different with another client.
- Urge protégés to collect role models. These can be people within your organization or outside of it, and they don’t necessarily have to be people the protégé knows personally. A range of role models can help the employee choose between different styles in different situations. What works for Jack Welch in a business meeting might not work as well when dealing with a difficult customer.
- Encourage experimentation. Give protégés a gentle push to try out some of the different styles and approaches they’ve observed. Let them take calculated risks: You might suggest they try a particular tactic in an internal meeting, for example, before adopting it with a client.
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