“No one is born to be an expert at anything. A person isn’t created with an intricate knowledge of the world. People have certain strengths and personality traits that are helpful in certain areas, but it takes an invested teacher and mentor in order to develop a strong path for those who are less experienced,” states Dr. Sanjay Jain.
There are four things that should be considered when mentoring, or before a person starts mentoring:
1) Are you qualified? Does your professional work experience speak to who it is you are trying to mentor? Do you have a genuine interest in helping those in your field or wheelhouse to build off of your experience? Some people become mentors for the wrong reasons. Occasionally people tend to become mentors in order to make themselves feel better about their community outreach. A person should definitely take a sense of pride in this kind of work, but it should be with the main goal of helping others.
2) A positive attitude counts in every interaction. Often times the mentee can be dealing with a lot of self-doubt and insecurity about the stages of life or work that they are going through. Reassuring them that it will pass as long as they stay focused and positive is extremely important. Leading by example is a strong way to enforce this, so it’s important that the mentor always stays positive themselves.
3) Encouragement is more important than deterrence. It’s very easy to point out missteps and flaws, and explain why someone shouldn’t go down a certain path. However, it is much more difficult, but also helpful, to encourage someone on a path that they should take. Make sure your reasons are solid and that you have their best intentions at heart instead of what you would suggest for yourself in their shoes. This is an extremely important but oftentimes overlooked aspect of mentoring.
4) Follow-up. Guidance for a mentee isn’t an experience-hand grenade. Cultivating a mentor/mentee relationship takes time and care, and needs to be checked on and given the proper amount of oversight while still allowing for the mentee to grow into their own potential.
“The relationship between a student and a teacher, of any kind, is one of the most important relationships that can be developed. The passing of knowledge is crucial to any form of achievement, and the proper management of both parties is both stringent and rewarding,” states Dr. Jain.
About Dr. Sanjay Jain:
Sanjay Jain, M.D. MBA is an accomplished medical doctor, health expert, life coach, inspirational keynote speaker, and author who has dedicated his life to helping people find their purpose by achieving a meaningful life that they deeply cherish. A passionate life-loving man, Dr. Jain has studied principles of healthy living, happiness, life balance, and self-development for several years.
Sanjay Jain is a US trained, board certified physician with over 15 years of clinical experience. He holds certifications in Diagnostic Radiology, Integrative Medicine, and Healthcare Quality and Management. He is a graduate from the accelerated BS/MD program at The Northeast Ohio Medical University. He has diversified experience in the private practice, academic, and integrated multispecialty settings.
He was a former assistant professor at The Ohio State University where he also obtained his MBA at the Fisher School of Business. The combination of which has given him a unique voice and understanding of the many issues we face today in a real and practical sense.
Sanjay represents a new wave of thought leadership and expertise developed not only from his medical and financial education, but also his life experiences. Follow Sanjay on Twitter at @sanjayjainmd and visit his website at sanjayjainmd.com. His new book, Optimal Living 360: Smart Decision Making for a Balanced Life(Greenleaf), will be available in Feb 2014.