How do you define a good mentor?
In fact, what is a mentor?
Here a few definitions to consider:
- A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser.
- A dependable counselor or guide.
- A mentor is an experienced and trusted person who gives another person advice
Are you a leader of people? Do you have the talents and characteristics needed to be a mentor?
Here are seven characteristics of an excellent mentor to consider.
A Good Mentor is Someone Who Communicates Well
If a mentor is going to communicate, they will want to communicate well.
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- Get personal
- Represent Facts
- Are specific
- Ask questions
- Ask for clarification
- Read Body Language
A Good Mentor is Approachable
Those who are trying to coach others must come across as approachable. Many leaders and coaches do not possess these skills. Below are a few behaviors (from the Huff Post) that approachable people practice.
- Are easily impressed, entertained and interested.
- Have a friendly, open, engaged demeanor.
- Laugh at themselves.
- Radiate energy and good humor.
A Good Mentor is a Good Listener
Are you a good listener? Do you have the skill of hearing what someone is saying to you?
Here are nine behaviors (found in Reader’s Digest) that will determine if you have excellent listening skills.
- Use good body language
- Watch for non-verbal cues
- Do not interrupt
- Resist the urge to offer solutions
- Keep the conversation on topic
- Take notes
- Show empathy
- Try to be open-minded
- Think before they speak
How are you doing as a mentor when it comes to listening.
A Good Mentor is Honest and Genuine
Being a teacher and leader of other people will require honesty. Being a fake will destroy anyone’s influence.
Honesty is produced when a person:
- Knows themselves and their intentions
- Is sure that their actions match what they say
Lying, deceit and dishonest behavior go against the ability to help others.
A Good Mentor Trusts Those They Lead
Trust is a two-way street. Anyone who is a mentor must trust those they lead and those that are influenced must believe the mentor.
Nan Russell, in Psychology Today, points out ten behaviors of that demonstrate trust at work.
- You influence more by your actions than your words.
- You are self-aware.
- You give trust first.
- You use trust elevating communication techniques.
- You bring the best of who you are to work.
- You want the best for others.
- You tell considered stories.
- You operate with ethics and integrity.
- You collaborate, consider, cooperate, and consider.
- You demonstrate competence as your starting point.
How do you do with this list of ten?
A Good Mentor is a Motivator
8 Ways Leaders Can Motivate Employees Beyond Money gives a good list for mentors to use to motivate those they coach.
Zwilling writes that if you are going to be a motivator those, you lead you will need to put into practice eight behaviors. Below are four of the critical actions.
- Energize your team
- Put people first
- Act with integrity
- Lead through experience and competence, not through title or position.
How are you doing as a mentor?
What would you add to this list?