Sometimes the best mentoring relationships fall outside of formal programs. I once had a coworker who could conduct mentoring sessions that, at first, seemed like informal conversations. Once I caught onto his methods, I was astounded at the investment in time, energy, and growth I’d experienced simply by unscheduled weekly touch points. His off-the-cuff counseling demonstrated his active interest in my learning.

Everyday Mentoring Techniques

It may seem like you need to invest large chunks of time in mentoring. However, the following examples allow you to make small investments in others to create lifetime payouts. 

1. Uncover Strengths

Look at the person who you’d like to grow into something more than they currently expect of themselves and highlight their strengths. Specifically, see how this person interacts with other teammates when planning, problem solving, or solution implementation. If they are an expert at communication, find the medium where they excel. Point these strengths out to them and encourage them to continue pursuing opportunities where they can use this strength often.

2. Discuss Leadership Traits

Examples of courage, character, commitment, respect, and integrity are unlimited within a work environment. Lessons on both positive and negative ramifications of successful or failed leadership is easily one of the best mentoring steps for quick discussions. Use history to provide examples for future actions.

3. Visualize the Future

Simply asking, “Where do you see yourself 10 years from now or what is your dream job?” can be an opening for opportunities not readily apparent in everyday discussions. Mentors not only listen to the answer but start to help develop a blueprint creating a path forward for the person they mentor. 

4. The Two “C”s

Both changes and challenges are constant. Change allows for growth and traversing through a challenge is often like learning a new skill. The crawl, walk, run approach works when giving an example of how your mentee is going through both changes and challenges.

5. Profits from Talents

Although mentorship likely occurs within the context of the current job, it’s important to encourage this person to lean forward. Developing networks outside of the workplace and possible seeking additional opportunities for the next step is what great mentorship is all about. Bring your mentee opportunities to explore gaining opportunities that can lead to greater financial growth.

Pay it Forward when it comes to mentoring

Mentorship is something easily created by thinking about using your position, network, or background to provide a path forward for someone else. Recall how others invested in your future and do the same for others. Simple mentoring through weekly touchpoints creates lifechanging opportunities through your investments.

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Candice Frost is an active duty Army officer and a leadership consultant. Her work in intelligence on the Army Staff provides her unique insights on the highest levels of leadership in DoD. She is a public speaker who focuses on mentorship and leader development. She lives in Washington, DC and can be reached at