What do you Need to Be a Startup Mentor?
It’s said “…it’s not what you know, but who you know…” and what we’re going to post today…is all about the exact opposite…i.e. what you need to know to be a Startup Mentor.
First, coming up with a definition of what a Mentor needs wasn’t an easy task…I thought long and hard on this topic and have been “mulling” the final points around now for almost a month and a bit…but here’s my own list of what I think a Mentor needs…must have…to be of value to a Startup entrepreneur!
- They must value their start-up entrepreneur as a person
- Want to help to develop mutual trust and respect
- Maintain confidentiality
- Listen actively both to what is being said and how it is being said
- Ask open, supportive questions and provide constructive feedback
- Help the mentoring partner solve his or her own problem, rather than simply giving direction
- Focus on the mentoring partner’s development, and resist the urge to produce a clone
- Be accessible, dependable reliable and maintain calendared meetings
- Be free with your “insider advice” in your channel
- Be Socratic
- Expect nothing in return
- Be authentic / practice what you preach
- Be direct. Tell the truth, however hard
- Be responsive
- Clearly separate opinion from fact
- Know what you don’t know. Say I don’t know when you don’t know
- Guide, don’t control. Teams must make their own decisions. Guide but never tell them what to do. Understand that it’s their company, not yours
- Be optimistic
- Provide specific actionable advice, don’t be vague
- Be challenging/robust but never destructive
- Have empathy. Remember that start-ups are hard
- Accept and communicate with other Mentors or Advisors when they’re needed
So…what do you think?
Been a Mentor before? Got a comment or a point that I’ve not covered as yet?
Please add them here below…if you would…as we all can learn from new thinking, eh!Google