Jul 25, 2016

10 Qualities of a Great Mentor


10 Qualities of a Great Mentor


As a manager, you hold a very important position within your company. You are a leader within the company and as a leader you may serve as a mentor. We all know people learn by watching what you do, not what you say, so in this role, leading by example is critical. Your mentee will be watching how you handle situations and model their behavior accordingly.


Mentors understand that they will have to assume different roles depending on the situation and the people they are dealing with. Being a mentor means you are multi-dimensional. You have the necessary skills, experiences and general knowledge needed to help lead your mentee in the correct direction. But there are a few basic qualities that separate the good mentor from the great ones. So what makes a GREAT mentor?

  1. Respect. As a mentor you must respect and be respected by your mentee. A mentee can learn a great deal by watching their mentor’s behavior in everyday situations. Respect is earned, so as a mentor you must be a positive role model that is respectful of everyone.

  2. Listener. As a mentor you have to know your mentee. Be able to see what they need and notice changes in them even if they’re small ones. You have to know their values, interests and goals. So, being an active listener will help you learn more about your mentee and build a relationship with them.

  3. Empathy. Showing that you care about your mentee will allow them to trust you in all matters. Let them know you sincerely care about them and what is happening in their lives.

  4. Flexible. Being able to see/spot solutions & opportunities are a huge part of being a great mentor. Mentors know how to take advantage of an opportunity and adapt to sudden changes. Having a mentor/mentee relationship can have its ups and downs. Being flexible will help you to deal with those ups & downs.

  5. Open. Sharing experiences are some of the most important things to do as a mentor. As a mentor you will have to pick and choose the stories that can be helpful or appropriate for the specific situation. Be open to sharing both your successes and your failures/mistakes. It is often during times of failure that we learn our greatest lessons. It can also help your mentee become aware of the challenges that may arise as well as ways to deal with them.

  6. Teacher. As a mentor you will be responsible for teaching your mentee the “tricks of the trade.” This means you have to be patient. When your mentee is learning a new skill they will not be perfect at first and sometimes they might mess up. So, instead of getting frustrated take it as a chance to sharpen your own skill. When you are teaching something new you are not only helping them but yourself. You are strengthening your own skills. You are re-learning something which helps you understand it better and in turn explain it better. If your mentee sees how confident you are when doing something they will try to aspire to be like you and will work harder to strengthen their own skill.

  7. Student. Be open to learning new things. Just because you are the mentor doesn’t mean you know everything. Sometimes your mentee might be able to teach you something new or give you a new perspective on a situation. You learn just as much about yourself as you do about the person you’re mentoring. It is a shared opportunity for both the mentor & mentee to learn and grow.

  8. Guide. As a mentor your job is to help build your mentee up, so that one day they can play your role. Your job is to help them realize their own gifts. You are helping them find out where they belong and which path they should take in life. You are helping them build their self-esteem and maybe even yours in the process.

  9. Credible. A mentor must be credible. A great mentor is someone who has been there and done that. They have achieved some sort of professional success. People are looking for a mentor who has experience and specific skills or qualities that will help them grow as a professional.

  10. Productive. A mentor is someone who for the most part knows themselves and what their goals are. But not everyone has a detailed map of what they need to do or what they should do to get somewhere. Mentoring is your chance to help your employees become more productive. Help them figure out their next step.

As you can see being a mentor doesn’t only help the mentee but it can help you, the mentor, too. You will gain a better understanding of those around you, allowing you to appreciate others’ differences and enhance your already existing relationships.