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What Makes a Good Mentor? 5 Crucial Qualities

Mentoring has become increasingly more prominent over the last decade. Many companies now offer mentoring programmes to ensure employees have a friendly, approachable guide to point them in the right direction. Mentors are vital for personal and professional development, and a good mentor will be enthusiastic, approachable and have excellent people skills. Most importantly, they will enjoy the role of helping others to achieve their professional goals. In this article, we outline five of the main qualities mentors typically have in common.

Enthusiasm for their role

It takes a special kind of person to actively enjoy helping others grow in confidence and experience. A good mentor will demonstrate commitment to see the people around them succeed. Mentors are there to assist others in their professional, and sometimes personal, growth, therefore it’s vital to look for someone who is compassionate, driven, and most importantly, enthusiastic about their role within the company.

Ability to encourage mentees to step out of their comfort zones

To grow professionally, employees need to step out of their comfort zones. It’s the mentor’s responsibility to identify these aspects and encourage them through activities and goals to become more comfortable and competent. A good mentor will be able to approach this task sensitively in a way that conveys trustworthy, friendly assistance, as opposed to being overly pushy and blind to an employee’s anxieties.

Capability to provide constructive feedback

A mentor isn’t there to identify all aspects of an employee’s shortcomings but rather to help a workforce grow and succeed. To do this, a mentor must provide feedback in a way that educates, offers corrective actions, and simply informs an employee of their shortcomings. Feedback is essential; however, a good mentor should ensure that it is constructive as opposed to degrading.

Willingness to keep learning

No one knows everything. While your mentor may be an expert in their field, it’s always a good idea to find someone who accepts that there’s room for self-improvement. A mentor who spends much of their time helping others to succeed and learn new skills should be open to the idea that they too have more to learn. A mentor who can accept that they may not have all the answers, but will willingly explore possible avenues to help others, will become such a valued and crucial part of a workforce.

A mentor should respect discretion

As a mentee, it’s crucial to be honest about your circumstances when discussing issues with your mentor. A mentee who fears the discretion of their personal information will not trust their mentor, therefore there’s the potential for a superficial or damaging relationship. This could lead to a workplace conflict or lack of morale within the working environment.

Choosing a mentor for your team

Finding a mentor doesn’t need to be stressful, and in our experience, organisations that invest in a culture of mentoring display higher levels of competence and wellbeing. Our in-house and virtual mentoring programmes are ideal for groups of up to six people to gain the skills required to effectively mentor others. Find out more about our Mentoring Skills Courses today — get in touch with our friendly team to talk about how we can help.