ProduKtive Blog

How to Be a Better Boss (or Mentor)

Jul 19, 2016 | Business Strategy, The ONE Thing

Successful businessmen climbing the corporate ladder to seventh heaven. The people and ladders are on a separate labeled layer from the background.

Being a great boss or mentor means investing in the success of others. It means taking an active role in helping employees and mentees find the ONE Thing that’s going to help them reach their biggest goals.

The role of boss and/or mentor comes with a fair amount of responsibility. The best thing you can do is put employees and mentees on the right path. Often the best approach to helping your employees and mentees achieve success is to encourage them to take it ONE Thing at a time. By helping them to set up that first domino they need to accomplish, you can plot the course for everything else along the way.

 

Steps to Helping Mentees Find Their ONE Thing

Each mentee or employee is unique, but they can all benefit from similar guidance. The most helpful mentors and bosses incorporate the following techniques into their approaches with others:

 

Has In-Depth Conversations to Clarify Goals

What does your employee or mentee hope to achieve? Are they sure of their goals or are they still trying to figure things out? Good bosses and mentors know the importance of listening. They take the time to discuss hopes, dreams, past experiences, current situations and plans for the future with the people they mentor. Through these discussions you can help employees and mentees clearly define their goals and set expectations.

 

Help Them Bucket Goals Into Categories

In The ONE Thingwe mention that goals are associated with different parts of our lives. Goals for different areas of life differ dramatically, but they all require time and attention. Instead of making a master list, have employees and mentees bucket their goals into the following categories:

  • Personal Life
  • Family
  • Work

Some of the goals may overlap or hinge on one another. The point is to help your employee or mentee counterbalance the different parts of their lives so nothing is put on the backburner for too long.

 

Make the Focusing Question a Habit

Getting in The ONE Thing mindset starts with the Focusing Question. “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

This one question can immediately put things in perspective and help your employee or mentee prioritize what needs to be done. Express the importance of making it a habit to answer this question before taking action. As a reminder you can end each conversation or email by reiterating the Focusing Question.

 

Provide Them With Resources

If you’ve found resources that have helped you focus and make goals a reality share them with your inner circle. These resources can include books like The ONE Thing, software programs, apps, calendars and personal contacts. When they have the right tools it’s much easier for them to get the job done.

 

Celebrate Successes Together

When an employee or mentee reaches a milestone take time to celebrate the win. The acknowledgement helps to motivate mentees, reinforcesthat their hard work is worth it and verifies they’re on the right track. It also gives you an opportunity to revisit the goals and make adjustments where needed.

 

Lead by Example

Anyone in a leadership or mentorship role can’t just talk the talk. They have to walk the walk. Setting a good example for mentees and backing up your advice with your own actions is paramount. Employees and mentees observe everything – your ethics, your values, your methods, how you conduct yourself around others. They are going to follow your lead so make sure you lead them in the right direction.

Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have. Seeing your employees and mentees realize their ONE Thing is every bit as fulfilling as reaching your own goals. Along the way their success may just become your new ONE Thing.

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