How to Become a Trainer Mentor
If you have been in the field of corporate training for some time, you might consider taking on new trainers as a way to give back to the industry and help another trainer develop the skills and knowledge you have acquired over the years. Corporate trainers take great pride in being able to provide a valuable and necessary service to the business world, but they often forget about continuing their education and professional development. Becoming a mentor for another trainer is a great way to stay in touch with what’s happening in the training industry, ensure that you continue to grow as a trainer, and help another trainer find their path to success. If you’ve ever thought about mentoring a trainer, here’s how you can get started.
Connect With Your Network
While most people don’t set out to become mentors, many people keep their eyes peeled for ways they can help others in their industry become better over time. It’s not like you will walk up to someone and offer to be their mentor. Instead, you can reach out to your network of industry trainers and offer to meet with them for coffee to discuss training, issues they’ve had, or trends they are noticing in the industry. Often, the most effective mentors listen rather than give advice, and meeting for coffee is a great way to start a dialogue that could last for years to come.
Give and Take
When you meet with a fellow trainer, you’ll find that it’s not all business. And it shouldn’t be. Being a trainer is a part of who you are as a person, and there will be plenty of times when you’ll want to talk about other things. All the while though, the underlying conversation will be able how those aspects of life impact your training and business. Sometimes you’ll be the one talking, and sometimes your mentee will be the one talking. Sometimes you’ll be the one worrying about a training session, and sometimes they’ll be the one worrying. Mentorship is a give-and-take relationship. Many mentors will tell you they learned just as much from their mentees as the mentee learned from them. So be open to a give and take relationship.
Don’t Call it Mentoring
If calling yourself a mentor feels weird, or if you don’t consider your coffee meetings to be mentoring, then don’t call it that. Call it professional development, growth, strategizing, planning, problem-solving - whatever you want to call it is okay. The point of the meetings, wherever they take place, is to build a relationship of trust between two people who share the same passion so that they can lean on each other when things are difficult, when they need help, or when they want to encourage each other to do more and be more than they were yesterday.
Mentoring is a great way to improve your own training business, as well as help a fellow trainer improve their business. Getting together once a month or a few times a month is all that is needed to keep the relationship alive. Have one of two things you want to talk about at every coffee break, and see where the learning takes you. You’ll share good and bad stories, fun and horrible experiences. You’ll laugh, and you’ll disagree. But in the end, the goal of becoming a better trainer will have been achieved. It will take time though, so don’t rush it. Mentoring is something you want to be involved with for years to come.