How to become an effective mentor

Go for it!
by Aixa G. Lopez

Since the beginning of my career, I’ve had mentors. I never asked for one but, fortunately, my supervisors always decided to give me advise on how to improve certain aspects of my professional life. I guess they felt that I was open to it, and it was worth the effort. With the time, I have become mentor to many employees and I have witnessed their personal and professional growth. Here are some key points on how to become an effective mentor:

1. OBSERVE AND LISTEN: Observing how people perform and what they talk about, is an excellent way to identify potential in someone. Usually, individuals who are introverts also have a high performance at work. These types of people typically associate success with end-results. What they don’t realize is the importance of verbal communication and networking. If you see someone like that, talk to that person. Ask about their interests. Let them know that if they need information or guidance, you are more than willing to help.

2. SUGGEST EXTRA-TASKS: Most of the things that I have done in my professional life and that have been outside of my comfort zone, have been assigned to me as extraordinary tasks. I had no choice but to take on those responsibilities. My supervisors would say: “I need you to do this” or “you will be involved in or leading this project.” They also highlighted that if I had questions or needed any support, not to hesitate to ask for it. They reinforced their confidence in my abilities to get the job done. One time, one of them said to me “I have more faith in you than you have in yourself. Go and get that job done!”. It was such an eye-opener for me that I’ve never forgotten that moment.

3. PERFORMANCE REVIEWS: Performance reviews are an excellent tool to provide honest and well-intentioned feedback. Utilize performance reviews not only to go over end-
results and new goals but also to discuss potential projects, areas of improvement, and how you can help that person make progress. You can also consider and suggest other areas of work, lateral career moves, social activities, and potential professional organizations they can join. Go for it!

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a new columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa will be sharing with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learnt along the way.