What IS a Mentor?
So I was talking the other day to a chiropractor who has a really, really good associate and he said, “My associate asked me to mentor him?” I said, “Well that’s great. That sounds like a good idea.” And he said, “What’s a mentor? I said, “Well that’s a legitimate question.”
We hear all the time that we should find a mentor. People are told in college they need to find a mentor. I know that at Palmer College, they wanted me to do a presentation to students on how to find a practice mentor in the field. In this short video, I’m going to give you a great definition of what a mentor is and what a mentor does. I think it might be helpful.
So my client says to me, “Noel what’s a mentor? What is a mentor actually do?” I think that’s a pretty good question and that’s fair and I said “I’m going to define it for you and then we’re going to expand on it.” I’m going to do that with you here.
A mentor shares his or her journey with you and encourages you in your journey. So, they share their journey and encourage you in your journey. Let me give you an example. You start with an associate and the associate needs to build their practice. What was your journey through practice building?
Some doctors try to protect the associate from the work that they needed to do which gave them the practice that they have and that’s just, I think it’s crazy. I think we need to share the journey.
I’ll give you an example. A wonderful client of mine, Dr. Kyrie Kleinfelter, did a lot of screenings and external marketing in her practice development as she first started out. I was coaching her at that time. She kept the appointment sheets that were her calendar at that time. She takes her associates back in the mentoring process and says, “See all the scheduled events that I had here? That was my journey. Now let me encourage you in yours.”
Let me give you another example. Handling patients like a patient quits care, gets upset, doesn’t respond fast enough and so how should you mentor your associate in that process? You know what I would do with my associates? “Oh, I hate when that happens. Let me tell you a couple of times that just almost broke my heart. Wonderful people that I feel that I really made mistakes with.”
I was really surprised my associates were so encouraged to find out that I could make mistakes with patients as well. Then I would go encourage them in their journey. “So let’s take a look at the mistakes that we’ve made. Let’s see how we can not make them again.”
One of the things that happens in that mentor relationship is that it builds a wonderful bond. Also, you take your information and you develop your associate. They become more successful. In the mentoring process you share your experience and you encourage your associate in theirs.
This is Dr. Noel Lloyd for Five Star Management and I know from having dozens of associates that that’s exactly what works.