Mentor Monday: 5 Ways To Be a Great Mentor

Photo cred: Chauromano
Photo cred: Chauromano

I’ve had the privilege of calling many people my mentors.  Through my interactions with many of them, I’ve seen the great advantages that a great mentor can offer.

You know you’ve got a great mentor if they show these signs:

  1. Insightful. A mentoree will learn a lot more if they have to come to decisions on their own.  A good mentor will provide advice and experience, without always telling the mentoree exactly what to do.  Insight is sometimes better than answers.
  2. Selective. A good mentor shouldn’t be willing to mentor just anyone.  It’s not easy to find a mentorial relationship that works well.  A mentor needs to choose a mentoree that is ambitious, eager to learn and that won’t take their help for granted…and it should be the right “fit”.
  3. Connected. Whether it’s to find job opportunities, build relationships, make business introductions or just to help expand their mentoree’s network, your network is an extremely valuable resource and one that a good mentoree should find to be invaluable.
  4. Friendly. Your mentoree has bosses, parents, and teachers.  They don’t need any more strict authority figures.  A mentor should provide a comfortable atmosphere where their mentoree can turn when they’re facing problems, have tough questions or are looking for some moral support.  A mentorial relationship should be a healthy mix of casual and professional.
  5. Honest. A good mentor is always honest and that means more than just telling the truth.  No one knows everything, and when a mentor doesn’t know the answer to something, they need to be big enough to say so. Even better, they’ll find someone who does know the answer.

What else makes a great mentor?

Remember to thank your great mentors every Mentor Monday.

7 thoughts on “Mentor Monday: 5 Ways To Be a Great Mentor

  1. Speaking of which: I need an intern. (Legit, virtual or not-virtual)

    I randomly came to this conclusion after realizing that I have tons of work and no one to help me organize, enact and implement on a lot of solutions.

    So…if anyone wants to be my mentoree? Drop me an email:

    (P.S. I got David a job…well sort of.)

    1. haha sort of indeed.

      Seriously though, an intern would probably learn more from working with Stuart for a week than from interning at a corporation as a gopher for an entire semester.

      1. They would definitely learn how to be brutally honest and know what they want. 🙂

        I think I would add fun to the list. Relax. Not everything needs to be like a work environment. Take them for coffee. Go mini-golfing. It doesn’t have to be an intense mentoring setting.

        1. Agreed. That’s kind of where I was going with the friendly thing. It should be a comfortable and fun relationship. The professional world can get scary/overwhelming. It’s nice to have someone there to turn to.

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