Aaron Regev: How To Be a Good Mentor at Work? | Mentoring Tips and Strategies!
The best mentors give their mentees the opportunity to learn and grow.
In doing so, they open the doorways to success — not just for their mentee, but for their organization. This fact makes the mentoring process a very rewarding practice indeed, as many leaders can attest. BUT therein lies the issue that I hope to tackle today!
How does one become a good mentor?
Is there some hidden secret to it that we’re just not being told? Or maybe a guide that will make things easier? What does it take to become a mentor anyway?
Find out how to be a good mentor below as we dig around the mind of Aaron Regev, who was kind enough to offer to me some personal insights on the subject of mentoring!
First, let’s get to know our mentor for the day! Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Aaron Regev: Hello, my name is Aaron! I work as a sales manager in the home warranty industry — and have done for several years now.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with countless mentees and have done my part in helping them grow as salespeople.
Staying on the subject of you for now, what kind of mentors did you have growing up?
Aaron Regev: I had my parents, of course. They were strict but kind. They ‘mentored’ me from a very young age and helped me understand the importance of hard work.
My parents were the kind of people that went above and beyond to chase after their dreams, but they did so with humility and grace, something that they did their best to instill upon me as often as they could.
How about more professional mentorships, did you have many over the years?
Aaron Regev: I was a mentee for several mentors over the years.
For a start, when I was still working as just your average salesperson, I did so under a leader that helped me grow into the skills required for me to fill that role — skills that I now teach to every mentee that I’ve worked with (even if I’ve had to translate them to fit the industry that I work in now.)
Have you personally sought out another person’s mentorship?
Aaron Regev: Oh, yes! Definitely. I’ve had several mentors that I sought out personally so that I could learn specific skills — especially the ones that I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to learn comfortably in the workplace or ones that I needed when I eventually pursued a more challenging career path.
What has been your relationship with your mentors over the years?
Aaron Regev: I’ve had both good and bad experiences with mentors over the years.
There are all kinds out there, after all. Some, unfortunately, are just not very good. Period. And in some cases, it took me just a bit too long to realize that certain mentors were just not the right fit for me.
Now, onto the subject of learning how to be a good mentor. When did you decide to become a mentor yourself?
Aaron Regev: Professionally? My current job had necessitated it.
I was hired on at THP (the home warranty company that I work for), as a Sales Manager, in order to train the people that we took on for our sales team.
As their manager, my mentoring responsibilities with all my team members started with onboarding and training — which extended to long-term mentorship so that I could continue to guide them throughout their career in our organization.
How would you describe your chosen mentorship style?
Aaron Regev: Stern but inviting! I keep my doors open for my team at all times.
As their leader, it is only right that I am available any time a mentee of mine wants to talk — in that way, I can act as a sounding board for their problems, and I can provide a more experienced point of view to help them work things out.
But, of course, being openly communicative is a bit of a double-edged sword. Because I am there for them when they are in need of guidance, that often means that I’m also there when they’re in need of correcting — which I do so with only the utmost respect for them as individuals.
I believe the biggest step in learning how to become a good mentor is to make sure to provide one’s mentee with feedback — both positive and negative.
Name the three main skills that make up a successful mentor!
Aaron Regev: In order to be the best mentor you can be, you need to be capable of the following:
- Effective Communication: Any good mentorship starts with being able to effectively communicate with one’s mentee. That means knowing when to talk and when to listen to said mentee. Listening skills are especially important so that you can get to know your mentee and help them reach their goals effectively.
- Be Available! As I said earlier, a big part of mentoring is making sure that your mentee knows that your door is always open for them. That way, your mentee can easily, and comfortably, reach out for help when needed.
- Assessment and Analysis: A keen eye is required for great mentoring. Otherwise, how else will you learn how to work within the confines of the needs of a specific mentee? Not all of them will have the same needs, the same goals, level of skill, etc. As a mentor, you need to be able to assess them as needed and make use of the analysis that comes out of it to help your mentee grow.
How about qualities? What qualities are required for good mentoring?
Aaron Regev: Passion is the biggest, I think. It takes a lot of passion to pursue mentorship and it takes even more passion still to keep going with it.
Why is it important to have good mentors in the workplace?
Aaron Regev: Mentorships are a great way of increasing the overall effectiveness of an organization. After all, by helping individuals grow, you’re enriching the whole.
What other benefits does workplace mentoring have?
Aaron Regev: Well, just as a bonus aside, it’s been proven that receiving mentorship — and the opportunities that come with it — increases employee satisfaction!
So, not only can you be sure to retain more of your employees, but you can also put mentoring down as an investment for your organizations’ future leaders as well.
How would you describe the average mentor-mentee relationship?
Aaron Regev: I think, as a rule, a mentoring relationship is a bit of a give and take.
It is your responsibility to impart wisdom, but in order to make sure that there is no clash in a mentor-and-mentee relationship, effort on both sides is required.
What are some of the hard rules that you follow as a mentor?
Aaron Regev: Off the top of my head? I can think of three hard rules that I find myself applying all the time when working with mentees:
- Be empathic and listen! In order to build a bond between mentor and mentee, it’s important that there be trust and understanding involved. And that starts with understanding! As I always tell my sales team, it’s important to place yourself in the shoes of others if you want to be able to help them out.
- Don’t be afraid to offer criticism! As a mentor, it’s your responsibility to help guide your mentee(s) towards the right direction, and that means speaking up when they do wrong. Just make sure to keep your criticisms constructive!
- Set expectations early! The best way to start off a good mentoring relationship is to set expectations from the very beginning. In doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of how you want to guide them throughout their career.
What qualifications does one need to become a mentor?
Aaron Regev: If you’re looking for details, I’m afraid that it will depend on what you’ll be mentoring on and in what kind of environment.
In the workplace though, experience is the most important. And I can attest to this personally, as someone who was hired to mentor the sales team at THP for my years of experience as a salesperson.
How do you build relationships with your mentees?
Aaron Regev: I think building relationships — of any kind — starts with interest on your end. Because that is what will be required for you to take care of another individual.
So, the first step is to get to know your mentee — which will go a long way in your analysis and assessment of them.
How can one improve their mentoring skills?
Aaron Regev: Ask for feedback! Communication between you and your mentee should go both ways. And the best way to practice that is to make sure that you get feedback from your mentee on how you can improve your own set of skills.
Do you have any advice to give to our readers who may just be starting out as leaders or mentors?
Aaron Regev: If you’re attempting mentorship for the first time: begin encouraging a workplace environment that is conducive for it.
Take that as step one if you have to and breathe easier knowing that you’ve laid out the foundation required for your mentees to find a successful and fruitful career.