Mentoring is like an orchestrated partnership. The reason why I choose to define it that way is because if the effort has to meet its objective, the partnership should work the way and progress in the direction the mentor wants it to. Hence mentoring is orchestrated by the mentor. For the mentor to do this it is important that they win complete trust of the mentee and use this trust to build rapport which at times emerges into a lifelong friendship.
The starting point of mentoring is filled with an air of tension – two people not very well known to each other, each unsure of what the other expects and both waiting to be judged. The journey that commences from this point has to build both trust and rapport for it to progress to meet challenges and to elevate the mentee from total dependence to complete freedom. There is no time to be wasted here.
The sure shot strategy here is to use mutual understanding as the tool for winning trust and building rapport. In this blog we shall look at how the Everything DiSC Management Profile can be used for creating the rapport and trust that is a mandate for a great mentoring partnership.
This essentially happens in three phases:
Bridging the hierarchical barrier
The protege walks into the mentoring session with a lot of apprehensions that stem from the realisation that they are with a superior. This barrier can be bridged only if the mentor comes down to the same platform as the protégé. In fact this should be clearly communicated in the very first meeting through gestures, body language and messages. Knowing what the proteges behavioural priorities and preferences are before the mentoring session will help in determining the right strategy to make the protégé feel at ease.
Everything DiSC Management Profile can help the mentor read into the protégés behavioural choices. The report has detailed inputs on the factors that motivate and stress an individual at the workplace. If these aspects can be incorporated into the plan for the first session, an environment of comfort and understanding can be built.
Know the difference between questioning and probing
A mentor must be able to clearly draw the narrow line that separates curiosity and inquisitiveness. They may turn the protégé off if the questions are too probing or sound like criticism. To win the trust of the protege it is important to know the art of asking the right questions. For this it is important to understand the proteges preferred styles of communication, delegation, factors that motivate them and their perceptions about the environment they work in.
The Everything DiSC Management Profile provides a detailed narrative on all of the above. Moving on, the report also gives specific strategies on where the individual needs improvement and how they can adapt better to people with other behavioural priorities. By going through the report in details checklist can be prepared for a set of questions that need to be asked, and feedback that needs to be given at every stage which are in tune with what the protégé prefers, so that they open up better and are more receptive to mentoring inputs.
Great mentors are non-judgemental and highly empathetic. If a mentor has to ask the right question they have to be even better listeners. It is empathetic listening that conveys a message of unconditional positive regard to the protege and that works towards a better rapport and more trust in the mentoring kinship. The Personal Listening Profile is a tool which can be of great help here since it helps the mentor to understand their natural approach to listening and furnishes tips on how they can become better listeners.
Building a great mentoring kinship is not as difficult as it seems. Especially if you have the right behavioural tool for support. View a sample report here. Buy Everything DiSC Management Profile here.