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The Best Communication Techniques for Mentors

December 20, 2021
Kayleigh Frost

Mentoring can be seen as one the most valuable ways to develop your employees.

Having training and mentoring programs can efficiently help those looking to grow themselves. Mentoring can equip mentees with the skills and tools they need survive in the business realm.

It can be for something as small as learning a new skill, to striving for a brand-new career. 

Good communication between a mentor and their mentee can build a powerful relationship and characters. And these can be used in situations beyond the everyday workplace. 

Why should you have good communication with your mentee?

One of the biggest advantages of having good communication with your mentee is that you’ll be able to enhance them to the best of their ability –avoiding misinterpretation or uncertainty. 

Through effective communication, mentors can present work methods clearly to help their mentee towards their goals. Whether these are for daily occurrences or for long-term benefits, mentees can gain clear information on their personal development. 

The information provided should allow mentees to reflect their new skills whilst eliminating any sources of confusion. And effective communication can help avoid stressful situations in the workplace.

The main steps for building good communication with mentees are:

  1. Focus on their goals for the mentoring or training program.
  2. Keep a steady pace towards achieving the goals (for short and long-term).
  3. Maintain contact with mentees on a regular schedule. 

Elements for creating good communication with your mentee

Some of the most effective methods for communication is to keep regular contact between mentor and mentee. 

Communication methods don’t have to be long and intensive. Even a 10 minute daily chat can prove to be helpful for some people. Mentors can stick to means of communication like email, phone-calls, or online/ offline meetings. You can set expectations of how and when you're happy to communicate with your mentee during your first session.

As remote working becomes more mainstream, communication has become especially important. for developing personal goals and targets. The tailored support that mentors provide can help enhance mentees far more than normal training. 

Self-assessments allow mentees to fully understand and incorporate changes to their work practises. By acknowledging their strengths and weaknesses, mentors can develop strategies for helping mentees achieve what they want. Then a final run-through is conducted to see their improvement in real-time.

Different examples of communication techniques 

Some of the most effective means of communication come through oral methods. Like phone-calls, face-to-face meetings, and video conferences.

Other examples of communication techniques can include written means, like emails, letters, and social media posts. 

It’s important to choose the right format for communicating with mentees. Different scenarios will call for different types of communication. Choosing the right one will increase the level of impact. 

For example, for personal development plans, you should use written forms of communication rather than through phone-calls. Mentees will be able to fully grasp the concept; and avoid writing extensive notes whilst trying to listen.

It's always best to provide feedback on work skills and performance through a personal capacity, like face-to-face. Sometimes, things can be misunderstood through written means, as it lacks emotional presence and understanding. 

Communicating in-person can also help a mentee fully appreciate their feedback, effectively developing their training.

Building trust with your mentees 

The only way mentoring programs will succeed is through great levels of trust!

Mentors can achieve this through:

  • Taking the time to develop a mentoring relationship: Building a strong connection can enhance mentoring training more than you think. Sharing a personal anecdote or connecting on a common matter can push your mentoring relationship beyond the norm.

  • Have emotional intelligence during conversations: The most successful training schemes don’t just apply corporate knowhow and end it there. Personal development is more than learning a new skill for work. It’s also about growing the individual as a human. Being able to help mentees learn how to apply themselves (not just their CV achievements) will help them significantly hit goals and land placements at higher levels.

  • Remember a conversation has two people: To build a genuine relationship with mentees, you need to have honest channels of communication. Your conversations should be mutual and on a shared platform, rather than be shaped as one-sided. A shared platform will help erase any levels of power or hierarchy, helping the mentee to feel comfortable with their mentor. This will lead to a higher level of trust, respect, and a genuine drive to learn.

Listening is just as important as talking

Presenting ideas and strategies for your mentees is great, but it’s just as important to listen to their needs and questions. 

Actively listening to them will ensure they are fully on-par with their training. Aim to have open channels and a genuine effort for meeting any queries or requests they raise.

Through these communication routes, mentors can present the most effective methods for training and development. And you’ll be able to watch your mentees significantly grow as unique individuals through their entire mentoring experience. 

Now that you know the communication techniques necessary, you can read here to find out how to start your mentoring program.

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Guest Author: Kayleigh Frost

Kayleigh Frost is the Head of Clinical Support at Health Assured

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