Business Team Building Programs – Three Tips For Mentoring Team Leaders
Developing a business mentoring program for team leaders can lift their individual performances and that of their teams. The benefit of a well designed and professionally delivered mentoring program is that it provides guidance, support and encouragement to the people given the essential task of leading business teams. This article provides three tips for establishing a business team leader mentoring program.
Knowing what to expect from mentoring
An effective mentor can significantly improve a team leader’s capability. By sharing experiences and accepting guidance and advice from an experienced business mentor, a team leader’s perspective can be broadened. The tasks or activities that may have been considered daunting or just too hard can be transformed and viewed as challenges worth tackling and a platform for developing the next level of leadership and management.
As mentoring is an interactive and creative activity, regular discussions are necessary between a mentor and team leader. Issues that are important to the team leader must be explored, therefore trust is an essential element in the mentoring partnership in order for significant issues to be uncovered and dealt with.
Mentoring does not work properly where, for example a team leader avoids difficult issues and refuses to commit to the mentoring process. A good mentor will dig down into situations that a team leader has concerns about, often involving other people, and offer explanations as to why the team leader may see the issue as a dilemma.
The mentor should suggest that the team leader review his or her own attitudes and behaviour, and consider the work environment from alternative perspectives. This means that the team leader needs to be prepared to open his or her mind to possibilities previously not thought available. The team leader should expect to be challenged and find the process at times, challenging.
Open and honest communication between mentor and team leader is very important. Selecting the right person as mentor for the program, is therefore, crucial for ensuring that the mentoring process is a success. The connection between the two individuals needs to feel comfortable for both parties, but not too comfortable that limits honest and frank discussions. Mentoring sessions should be scheduled for times that suit the team leader and be held at a location where both parties feel comfortable. This may mean meetings are held away from the workplace.
Mentoring takes time to work as sometime issues need to be unlocked and worked on over a series of sessions. An effort needs to be made by the mentor and team leader to keep focused and persist so as to achieve the desired outcomes. Staying power is therefore a key ingredient in making mentoring successful.
Remember that developing a more capable team leader is a worthwhile endeavour for the individual and the business.
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