WHAT MAKES A GOOD VETS2VETS MENTOR?
Before becoming a mentor for a veteran, here are a few things to understand about the role of mentoring. Most of us have had a teacher, supervisor or coach who has been a mentor to us and made a positive difference in our lives. Those people wore many hats, acting as delegators, role models, cheerleaders, policy enforcers, advocates, and friends. Mentors assume these different roles during the course of a relationship, and share some basic qualities:
- A sincere desire to be involved with a veteran who wants to be an entrepreneur
- Respect for veterans
- Active listening skills
- Ability to see solutions and opportunities
- Successful business experience
- Technical know-how
Mentoring relationships are a shared opportunity for learning and growth. Many mentors say that the rewards they gain are as substantial as those for their mentees, and that mentoring has enabled them to:
- Have fun
- Achieve personal growth and learn more about themselves
- Improve their skill set, business problem solving and financial accument
- Feel they are making a difference
- Gain a better understanding of other cultures and develop a greater appreciation for diversity
- Feel more productive and have a better attitude at workYou have made a wonderful and very important decision in choosing to become a mentor. If you’ve reached this conclusion, you’ve done enough research to have an idea how different each mentoring situation can be. Before you start to look at our veteran businesses think about and identify your own experience, interests and skills. The following steps will help walk you through the process of enrolling in our program. To help you decide ask yourself the following questions:
- What time commitment can I make?
- What types of business start-ups I like to work with?
- Would I like to work with one veteran or with a group of veterans?
- Would I like to team with other mentors to mentor a veteran or a group of veterans?
- What types of activities interest me?
- Do I want to help a veterans learn a specific skill, pursue an interest, help with accounting or just be a caring coach?
- What mentoring location would I prefer?
While thinking about these questions, remember to be open and flexible to all the different mentoring programs and focus areas that are out there.
- Enhance their relationships with veterans
Above all, a good mentor is willing to take the time to get to know their mentee, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and even to be changed by their relationship.