Mentoring: 10 Desirable Characteristics Of A Good Mentor
Mentoring is a process where an experienced person in one’s field of expertise or interest, provides guidance and support. Consequently, this empowers the mentee or protégés to reach their goals. The most successful mentors have been protégés and often continue to work with mentors of their own.
A protégé is anyone who seeks guidance and support from a mentor to reach his or her goals. There is always something to learn from a supportive person with different or greater experience. Without a doubt, everyone needs someone willing to listen without judgment, provide guidance, and answer questions.
Being a protégé is about aiming higher and becoming better through the support and guidance of another person.
Through mentorship, protégés gain self-confidence and will often achieve at a higher rate than others without the encouragement and support of a mentor.
A Good mentor should be experienced and knowledgeable
1. Personal Experience
Mentors are experienced individuals who understand their mission and values. They can offer a wide spectrum of skills and expertise that can benefit a protégé. Some mentors may more effectively support a protégé as he/she completes their first projects. Mentors can also guide a mentee working toward a challenging leadership goal.
An experienced and knowledgeable mentor knows the value of wisdom. Subsequently, he/she can balance sharing their expertise by allowing protégés to learn by their own.
For example, a mentor can support a protégé by listening to the thoughts, concerns, and challenges of a project/target. The mentor may choose to share own understanding of target at hand. Insight can be gained by discussing mentors’ experience completing a similar project and what was gained as a result.
3. Informed Perspective
A knowledgeable mentor can confidently and non-judgmentally address any questions from protégé. Likewise, he/she should know when to step aside and allow the protégé to learn independently.
A Good mentor should be positive and supportive
4. Successful Strategies
Mentors support protégés by reinforcing successful strategies and providing constructive guidance. While completing some projects, a protégé may simply need someone to listen to his/her thoughts and frustrations. At other times, mentee may benefit from hearing the ways the mentor overcame obstacles to create positive and successful outcomes.
5. Unconditional Support
Provide non-judgmental support as protégé commits to a choice.
It’s expected that the mentor helps the protégé gain confidence in his/her ability to shine or excel. For example, practicing for common interview questions with protégé can boost his/her confidence.
Furthermore, direct them to resources and provide other tips that can help nail the job.
A Good mentor should be respectful and caring
6. Focus on Similarities
An influential mentor focuses on similarities rather than differences. Showing respect for a protégé’s unique experiences and background builds a positive rapport. The foundation for a well-balanced partnership is congeniality.
7. Identify Needs
First, a mentor can demonstrate respect and care by asking questions to identify protégé’s specific needs and goals. Secondly, listening, noting differences but focusing on commonalities, the mentor can enhance the partnership with protégé.
8. Tailor Feedback
A tailored approach to suggestions and feedback is beneficial. Similarly, feedback designed to coordinate with the protégé’s goals and personality will form a strong foundation for success.
For example, a mentor and a protégé may both be highly experienced experts from very different professional backgrounds. A mentor can benefit protégé by finding commonalities in their experiences. Hence, sharing new information and knowledge from both professional backgrounds.
A Good mentor should be committed and dependable
Commitment is an essential requirement of a successful mentor–protégé relationship. This commitment can range from being prepared and on time for meetings to ensuring consistent communication.
When circumstances dictate, a mentor may need to be available to engage in person with the mentee. This is very useful to put a face to a name, as this often enhances their relationship
One of the great, often hidden, benefits of working with a mentor is the opportunity to advance little-used talents. It is often through the encouragement of another that we share a talent others have never seen.
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