On this edition of the 5 Minite Coffee, we’re sitting down with Bas Rogaar, founder of MentorJam. Bas strongly believes that progress is fueled by the exchange of experience-based knowledge between humans, which improves lives and makes the world a better place. That’s why he founded Mentorjam, enabling people to come together, supporting the process of knowledge exchange, thereby helping people and organizations progress. We’ve brought in Bas to do a speed round of questions on his mentoring wisdom. Let’s get brewing!
We define mentoring as exchanging experience-based knowledge through heartfelt human interaction. The first can't happen without the second and they both add huge value to people's lives. A great mentor adds value by not only sharing experience but also supporting the mentee's personal development. Giving constructive feedback, pointing out strengths the mentee has, providing a different viewpoint, sharing personal success strategies - this is all extremely valuable stuff! The impact a mentor can have is massive.
Good mentors come in all sizes and shapes. However, to be a good mentor it’s important to understand what challenges the mentee faces. And in order to understand one needs to listen to the story behind it. A good mentor asks the right questions - guiding the mentee towards the real, deeper challenge they face - and often already to the solution. To be a great mentor, the ability to share one’s point of view through concrete experiences is crucial. My top 3 essential elements for a great mentor are being a good listener, questioner and storyteller.
For a mentee to get the most out of the relationship, honesty (about challenges), transparency, trust (in the mentoring process) and willingness to adapt are key.
“The greatest asset in any organization is the experience harnessed within its people.”
During my lifetime I’ve made a few impactful decisions - both personal and professional. Looking back, I wish I had had a mentor during those stages. I’ve often made impulsive decisions in life, and it would have been good to have consulted a mentor first. I once joined a company with four founders where we thought adding a fifth person would simplify decision-making. But it’s not about that: it’s about trust. If I had been a mentor myself, I would have dug deeper instead of thinking I could solve it all. That is also why we founded Mentorjam: I believe everyone is better off with a mentor.
I used to be managing director at Startupbootcamp’s accelerator. Matching founders with mentors may be the biggest value accelerators/incubators offer. There are three sorts of mentors typically: 1. the entrepreneurial mentor, whose experience of building a company from scratch offers massive value to founders by e.g. challenging assumptions and flagging potential perils, 2. the specialist mentor, who brings specific know-how, e.g. in internationalization or funding strategy, and 3. the connector; who can make introductions to potential stakeholders. It’s important to distinguish the three and draw value from all of them.
“A good mentor asks the right questions - guiding the mentee towards the real, deeper challenge they face - and often already to the solution.”
As Bas says: "The greatest asset in any organization is the experience harnessed within its people." We couldn’t agree more! Here at Minite, we offer guidance and support to our High-Flyers to help them reach greater heights and unlock their full potential so they can offer maximum value to companies. Sign up as a High-Flyer or hire a High-Flyer today and let’s grow together! Our talented pool of flexible, pre-verified student freelancers, or High-Flyers, is available to skyrocket your digital marketing, business development, research, data analytics or web development, so you can focus on growing your core business. Sign up and post a Task for free - it only takes a Minite.
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