5 Tips for a Successful Mentorship
I truly believe there’s no better time to serve as a mentor or to be mentored than the present time. Life as we know it is rapidly changing as we find ourselves in this sea of uncertainty that is the new normal. More than ever, women are finding themselves in need of support and encouragement from their sisters-in-Christ.
I hope the mentoring posts shared with you this month have encouraged you to serve as a mentor or to seek a mentor. The questions I pose to you now – Are you ready to mentor? Did you find a mentor?
Perhaps you’re just beginning to lay the foundation for your mentorship or perhaps you’re in the midst of mentoring and you’d like to level up your mentoring skills. Whatever your position, it is my belief we can all use tips for improving our mentoring abilities. These tips are also helpful for mentees in search of a mentor.
As shared in my previous post, the mentoring relationship is mutualistic, and the roles can evolve based on your relationship and mentoring goals, so let’s get to it!
Tips for the Mentor
1. Spend time in prayer. Seek God’s direction. Always include God in your plans. Ask God to place the person or persons on your heart that could benefit from your mentorship. When God speaks to you, act. Do not hesitate or allow your doubts to hold you back from serving others. Follow God’s leading.
2. Create a strong foundation. A successful mentor-mentee relationship is built on God’s Word. As shared in 2 Timothy, we are encouraged to hold fast to the truths of scripture. We are to teach God’s truths, the undiluted truth. When we study the scriptures, we are preparing ourselves to teach God’s Word to our mentees, who in turn, entrust those truths to others. This is kingdom building for generations as we encourage, equip, and empower one another through God’s Word.
3. Serve as a role model. Jesus is the model we strive for in our mentoring relationships. Mentors are to be the salt and light. In Matthew 5, we are called to be light-bearers, reflecting God’s light for the world to see. Mentors are to walk out their faith by setting an honorable example for the mentee. Yet, at times, we may unknowingly deter from that path. And, when we do, all is not lost if we use the situation as a teaching moment for the mentee, as we both learn from the misstep.
4. Be accepting. Mentors are to show unconditional love and acceptance for their mentees. This relationship is a nonjudgement place for the mentee to share both victories and struggles. Therefore, it is essential to the relationship that the mentee can openly and freely express herself to the mentor without fear of judgment or rejection. Acceptance also includes mutual respect for one another. The mentor and mentee should also discuss and agree upon boundaries, expectations, and confidentiality to ensure the success of the relationship.
5. Maintain a servant’s heart. It is vital the mentor remains humble in the relationship and submits to God’s guidance and leading. As I mentor female mentors, I encourage them to take cautionary steps to avoid thinking thoughts such as “you’ve arrived” or allowing their position to create a proud attitude. Remember mentors are role models. Your mentee should observe the traits of a servant leader in your mentoring including a willingness to humbly submit to God’s ultimate authority.
Tips for the Mentee
1. Spend time in prayer. Go to God in prayer and ask Him to place a godly mentor in your life. Reflect upon the women who you believe would make a great mentor for you. List the names of these women and seek God’s guidance as you evaluate the character, reputation, empathy, and truthfulness of the potential mentors. Ask yourself if this is a person of whom you can speak openly and share your struggles. Take a look at the fruit she is bearing. Listen to her story and above all, is this person basing her teachings on God’s Word.
2. Seek a trustworthy mentor. Trust is vital to the success of the mentor-mentee relationship. The foundation of the mentorship is built on God’s Word, honesty, and transparency. The communication must be open and honest while respecting the privacy and godly perspectives of both the mentor and mentee. Judgment and condemnation have no place in a mentoring relationship.
3. Consider the communication style of your mentor. The mentor-mentee communication style should be clear and consistent. Questions to consider: Do you feel heard by your mentor? Does your mentor take time to listen attentively? Are your conversations and discussions solution-oriented and productive? It is also prudent to discuss how you will communicate with your mentor between meetups. Communication is essential for a productive and successful mentor-mentee relationship.
4. Possess a teachable spirit. Be open to the guidance and teachings of your mentor. Reflect on her words. A Christian mentor’s teachings will always align with God’s Word. Mentors and mentees should have a growth mindset where both are open and agreeable to God’s teachings. A teachable spirit exhibits such qualities as being a good listener, remaining humble in spirit, and seeking Godly guidance.
5. Set expectations. Communicate to your mentor what you are seeking in the relationship. Spiritual growth is a goal in Christan mentoring. The guidance of a Christian mentor also supports you with your personal and professional goals. It is essential to communicate to the mentor your expectations from the mentoring. Are you seeking guidance for spiritual growth, relationships, or parenting? And, to make the best use of your time, prepare for your session by doing your homework and follow up with your mentor to confirm you are in agreement with the expectations.
Tips for Mentor Groups
If you’re currently meeting with a few mentees, perhaps you are interested in creating a mentoring group. I shared last week the many advantages of Christian mentoring groups. I am fond of group mentoring due to the creation of community among the group members. Mentoring groups are comprised of like-minded women and offer women a safe space for deeper connection and conversation.
1. Spend time in prayer. Ask God for direction in your desire to establish a mentoring group for women. Prayer is essential to women mentors seeking to serve as a Christian mentor. Allow God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to guide your passion and purpose for mentoring.
2. Seek a mentor for yourself. Christian mentors also need the guidance and support of mentorships. Seek God’s leading and ask for a Titus 2 mentor to help you grow in your role as a mentor and to provide you with accountability and direction as you serve others.
3. Seek opportunities to bring generations together. Organize Bible studies or coordinate small group gatherings focused on women sharing their testimonies. Women sharing their stories is a great way to foster sisterhood among the mentees and establish Titus 2 mentoring for your group members.
4. Set boundaries within the group. Boundaries for both the meeting structure and boundaries for the mentor-mentee relationship are vital to the success of the mentorship. A mentor shared with me many years ago that boundaries were guard rails put in place to protect us. Boundaries protect our relationships and give structure (a format) to the mentoring relationship. Boundaries also set expectations and guidelines for the mentor and mentee.
5. Cultivate acceptance and belonging among the group. The mentoring model for group mentoring (for all mentoring relationships) is found in the mentorship of Christ. Group members must be accepting of each other as they encourage and motivate one another to love as Christ loves. The mentoring group is a judgment-free zone. A safe place for women seeking to strengthen their faith walk. We are stronger together.
Are You Ready?
I hope you find these tips useful for your mentoring journey or in your search for a mentor. Whether you are growing in your faith and you’re ready to share your knowledge with other women or your various life experiences have equipped you to teach others, I encourage you to pray through these suggestions and reflect on where God is leading you.
Regardless of your season, if serving as a mentor is something you genuinely desire, begin with prayer. Seek God’s direction. Spend time in prayer with a sister-in-Christ. Serving as a mentor is truly gratifying. These relationships are built on God’s Word and His love fosters a network of lifelong connections among women. Serving as a mentor is also a commitment to the spiritual growth of your sisters-in-Christ.
If you believe God is calling you to serve as a mentor and you are in need of a spiritual mentor for your journey, I would be honored to walk alongside you. Should you need assistance with the creation of your mentoring group, let’s chat about ways I can help you.
If you’re interested in joining a mastermind group for women mentors this fall, please let me know and I’ll be happy to place you on the waitlist. Send me an email me at email@example.com for more information.