In Episode 6 of “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition,” the global candidates met Sudhir Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Everise, a company that improves various customer experiences through the use of innovative technology.
Agarwal acted as the candidates’ guest advisor as they took part in a business task in which they had to use Everise’s technology to help revolutionize the customer experience in the travel industry.
The Founder and CEO certainly left his mark on the global bunch, instilling in them valuable advice that he’s garnered over the last 20 years in the world of business.
With that said, here are five valuable tips he wants to share with prospective mentors.
#1 Start With The Right Mindset
When you become a mentor, Agarwal believes that the mentorship is less about you and more about how you can serve the person you’re guiding.
Moreover, as a mentor, you have to keep in mind that your mentee will only gain something valuable from the relationship if there is a mutual respect between the both of you.
“When you start mentoring, you will be shaping the career of that person, so it’s imperative that you start this journey on the right foot, mentally,” Agarwal said.
“Being a mentor involves making yourself available to support and advise that person when they need it and give that support in a way that makes sense to them, always keeping that person’s best interests in mind.”
#2 Make A Genuine Connection
Forming an authentic connection with your apprentice is just as important as the mindset.
“Making your mentee feel at ease is an important part of becoming a great mentor,” he said. “This necessitates a genuine relationship in which both parties are valued and understood.”
>But how can you make your mentee feel at ease? According to the Everise Founder and CEO, it starts with two basic characteristics.
“There are a few key steps to creating that authentic connection,” Agarwal continued. “Humility and humor are both rooted in vulnerability; these qualities will help you appear genuine and establish genuine connections. Those soft skills matter.”
Once a genuine connection is made, it’ll be easier for both the mentor and mentee to focus on Agarwal’s third tip — building trust.
#3 Build Trust
Once you approach your mentorship with the right mindset and make a genuine connection with your protégé, you can then start to build trust with him or her.
And trust, as Agarwal points out, is an important part of the equation, especially when trying to develop lasting mentorships.
“Trust is one of the most critical factors in the mentor-mentee relationship since it is the glue that ties relationships and organizations together,” Agarwal said.
“The number one thing about building trust is having an open channel of communication, and both mentor and mentee must realize and respect each other’s differences in perspectives and truths.”
It might sound challenging to put your own emotions to the side, but once that happens, Agarwal believes that is when the real journey toward innovation can begin.
#4 Incubate Innovation
Incubating innovation may be the most challenging tip to follow through on, but if done properly, Agarwal believes it can be the most rewarding for both you, the mentor, and your mentee.
To bring out the best of your apprentice, however, you must give them the space to express themselves and then uncover the ways in which you can help that person achieve his or her growth.
“Incubating innovation must first start with creating the right environment for ideas to spark. That means creating a culture where people can speak freely and openly,” Agarwal said.
“Hold frequent development talks with your mentee, and make sure that the conversation is as much about them as it is about the innovation you are trying to unlock. Operate as a sounding board for testing and exploring new solutions and options.”
That brings Agarwal to his fifth tip, which is more about your own journey as a mentor.
#5 Evolve Your Approach
As a mentor, you’ll be helping your mentee grow, but there may come a time when he or she has hit a plateau. If this is the case, Agarwal recommends changing up your approach so that you can further push your protégé beyond his or her limits.
“It is your responsibility as a mentor to assist your mentees in reaching their maximum potential. To do so, it’s better if you can help them recognize and capitalize on their talent and help them to grow,” he said.
“However, as they develop, you may need to change how you mentor them. For example, there may come a time when you need to push them out of their comfort zone for them to see what they are capable of. In other cases, you may have to let them go and experience other avenues to grow. Either way, they will grow and evolve.”
Follow Sudhir Agarwal on LinkedIn for advice on business, mentorships, and more.