I have been lucky to learn from some great mentors during my career, but they have always been more senior than me. They have got to where I want to get to and I am eager to learn their strategies to success and avoid the mistakes they made. So, what could a junior mentor teach you? Well, let’s brainstorm a few ideas.
What Do They Know?
Tips on Improving Your Leadership Strategies
According to a study by EY, 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of Millennials by 2025. You can read as many articles as you like about how to lead this up and coming generation, but wouldn’t it be easier to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth?
Could your junior mentor help you improve your strategies in –
- Relationship building
- Talent attraction & retention
- Learning & development
- What else?
How to Attract & Retain Talent
I believe it’s key today, especially with the war on talent to have an external brand to attract and retain talent for your organisation. Look at Simon Sinek, Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk they are actively building their brands on social media platforms. They have become leaders of choice, people are fighting to work for them.
It will also create you some exciting opportunities, see my post Create Exciting Opportunities by Building Your External Brand
A junior mentor has grown up with social media and knows every trick in the book to get visibility on these platforms as well as know what their generation is eager to learn.
Looks like that may be able to teach you a lot. Now let’s see how you can create a successful working relationship with a junior mentor.
Creating a Relationship with Your Junior Mentor
It can be intimidating for a junior member of staff to mentor a senior leader. The senior leader should help create a trusted and effective relationship with their mentor by:
Creating a Safe environment
The senior leader needs to create a safe environment for the junior mentor to be open, honest and share ideas by:
- Ensuring confidentiality
- Being non-judgemental
- Having the mind-set of no idea is a bad idea
- Challenging to understand, not to disagree
- Being open and honest with the junior mentor
- Being open for feedback
Using the Right Communication Medium
The senior leader should use the preferred communication medium of the junior mentor to make them more comfortable.
Even though senior leaders have busy schedules, they should ensure they attend the mentoring sessions on time and that they are present throughout i.e. no emails or other distractions. It shows a commitment to the relationship and the process.
Mentoring Them in Return
You have a lot to offer, make sure your junior mentor gets as much from this relationship as you.
It’s a Wrap
As you can see, a junior mentor could give you an edge on the peers and competitors.
But I think the biggest advantage is on the motivation of the teams that you lead. It shows them that you are listening and acting on the ideas of more junior members of staff. A key motivator in my book.
I bet you already have someone in mind to be your junior mentor. I would love to know what you learn.
Your virtual mentor & coach