The team from the Branson Centre - Caribbean want to share their expertise around building strong and successful mentoring relationships. 

Kadeon Richards-Bailey, the Branson Centre’s Mentorship Manager, has created a checklist to ensure that as you dive deeper into 2018, your mentoring strategies are fresh, useful and on track to deliver results.

Mentors play a vital role in supporting entrepreneurs. At the Branson Centre our mentors provide incredible depth and breadth to our programmes - by sharing experiences and lessons-learned they help guide our entrepreneurs on their own entrepreneurial journeys. 

The benefits of a mentor and mentee relationship are two-sided, with mentors regularly receiving a great sense of satisfaction from passing on knowledge and wisdom to those who are beginning their journey. 

At the Branson Centre, we strive  to facilitate the growth of healthy mentor-mentee relationships, and below are a few tips to guide those who are ready to start building these relationships into their workplace.

Virgin Unite, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean, Lisandra

Spend some time getting to know each other
Every mentoring relationship is different. Some people may need to break the ice with new mentors by sending an introductory email, some may do this via a phone call, some may set up an initial meeting. Whatever works, just make sure you’ve given yourselves time to get a feel for your different personalities - this will guide how you communicate and share wisdom in the months to come. 

Establish your work style
After establishing yourselves as mentors and mentees, we suggest that you spend time further establishing rapport and explaining your work styles. 

Take time to understand your visions for the future
Mentors are guides to help mentees navigate the sometimes rough entrepreneurial waters. Having a clear understanding of the mentee’s vision and overall objectives will help mentors to counsel them more effectively.

Keep each other on your toes
A great way to test if a mentee is engaged and receptive to a mentors tutelage is for the mentor to periodically give them tasks revolving around their personal and professional development. This will allow mentors to effectively evaluate achievements against goals as well as provide an avenue to offer valuable feedback. Accountability is a crucial to achieving radical growth and contribute to a dynamic economy.

Be S-M-A-R-T
Mentors should aim to set SMART targets when talking short-term deliverables and KPIs - this will help mentees achieve results in line with their vision for the future. Remember, S-M-A-R-T goals are:  Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Realistic - Timely.

Share your inspiration
Don’t hesitate to recommend books, videos, forums, networks or tools that could help your mentee (or mentor) achieve their goals. Often mentees will be striving to reach their mentors level. What better way to help them on that quest than by sharing what inspired you?

Spotlight your assets
Your experience and expertise are your strongest assets. Use that to provide support in any way you see possible. Share personal stories, provide technical feedback, the opportunities are endless.

Open your network
Mentors have much to offer, but as successful business owners, they will know all too well that no man is an island. They should recognise that they may not have all the skill sets that their mentee needs for success, but that they may know someone who does. Mentors, feel free to share contacts in your circles, your organisation and your wider contact group.

Have fun! 
This is crucial. This is an opportunity to share your knowledge and learn from someone else. Make the most of this exciting relationship.

To learn more about the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter