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Being a good mentor is very important, but the question of how you become a good mentor is always up for debate. It’s about being so much more than just someone that tells you how they achieved success. One of the most common and important characteristics of all good mentors seems to be their ability to ask insightful and meaningful questions.
Asking questions to your protege’ will allow you to be more insightful and offer better solutions tailored to their specific situation. You will begin to build a genuine relationship with this person where trust can be established and a mutual partnership will grow. Here are some of the questions all the good mentors ask.
1. What Are You Reading?
Finding out about your mentee’s reading habits, interests, hobbies, and other personal questions will help you build a lasting relationship. This will also give you insight into their lives and the way they respond to situations. When your protege knows you are someone they can trust, they will open up to you more allowing you to help them in the best way possible.
2. What Obstacles Are You Facing?
Mentors can provide valuable insight to overcoming obstacles when they understand just want their understudy is going through. Sometimes, the person may not have even thought about their obstacles and need to be prompted to dig deep. This will also give you an opportunity to find their strengths and weaknesses.
3. What Options Have You Come Up With?
Pointing out the exact solution to your protege’s problems isn’t always the best way to go about things. You should allow your mentee to come up with potential solutions to their obstacles. There will be a time when you need to fill in the gaps to trigger a solution, but doing all the work for them will not help them grow.
4. What Do You Want To Be Different In 3 to 5 Years?
This is a great question to help your understudy look forward to the future while determining what they can course correct now to get there. A 3 to a 5-year window is perfect since it’s not so far in the future that they get distracted by how much can change by then.
5. Tell Me More
While this technically isn’t a question, this bold statement will prompt your mentee to provide more information on their opinion or the conclusion they came up with. Biases or blind spots that they couldn’t see before will become more obvious. You as a mentor can help expand their mind around the situation and find new ways to help.
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