• Estelle Roux-Stevens

How to recognise a mentee’s strengths

In the past, the idea of navigating the professional world was often an intimidating task - especially for those starting a new career. Employees would feel like they were being thrown in at the deep end with little or no guidance and then be expected to thrive.

While such issues still play a role in some workplaces, the increase in professional mentoring has gone some way to tackling the problem of young upstarts feeling lost in professional setups. Millennials, in particular, have benefited from mentoring programmes.

If you’re a mentor, there is every chance that you take your role with nothing but complete dedication. You feel invested in the success of your mentee, especially as relationships begin to build. Recognising a mentee’s strength and helping them fulfil potential is one of the key traits of a mentor,

But how do you go about identifying those early signifiers that reveal where a mentee excels? Here is a look at how to recognise your mentee’s strengths early in the relationship.

Be inquisitive and take a personal interest

As the relationship with your mentee grows, so will your desire to see them succeed. Being fully invested from the beginning of the programme, and taking an interest in personal development, will help you be able to identify signs of their personality.

As a result, you will place yourself in a stronger position to recognise those traits earlier. There might be ways in how they communicate that tells you if there is potential to be a leader in the future, or maybe there is something about their personality that makes you believe they could be exceptional team players.

Set early goals

A structured plan of action with attainable goals will help you to identify potential strengths of a mentee. By setting a benchmark, you are helping them to learn structures and processes. Following the plan effectively on their side already shows a level of discipline.

If they can show discipline, sticking to what you have agreed upon, the mentee can further develop their skills and integrate them into how they approach daily working setups.

Be open minded

As a mentor, it is your responsibility to keep up to date with the latest trends in the industry, continually evolve and generally be up to date in the cultural lexicon. If you can keep a fresh mind and be open to new ideas, you will be less likely to pass a fresh mindset onto your mentee.

While having an open mind might not directly help you identify their strengths, it could help them to be more inquisitive themselves. That extra level of eagerness can also develop into new strengths that they find useful in the working environment.

Mentoring to get the best out of mentees

It is important to recognise the plus points of your mentee and empower them to fulfil their potential. You can take them out of their professional environment and create one that helps them deal with everyday work tasks with more confidence.

Mentorjam takes a holistic approach to mentoring and provides solutions to many different types of mentor/mentee scenarios. From ‘hire to retire, our track templates and bespoke options create a pathway to successful mentoring programmes.