What exactly is a mentor?
Edward Sellner, a Catholic lay theologian, wrote a book entitled Mentoring. In his book, Sellner points out seven basic characteristics of talented mentors.
- Maturity. This is a type of wisdom that comes only with age.
- Compassion. This is the ability to listen to someone without judging the individual.
- Genuine respect. This is the practice of listening to someone’s story and their experience in life.
- Confidentiality. The skill of being able to keep a secret.
- Self-disclosure. A willingness to share and be honest.
- Growing as a scholar. This is the experience of reflecting on life’s journey.
- Discernment. This is the action of discerning the movements of the heart and the spirit.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”― Benjamin Franklin
“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ― Robert Frost
“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” ― Plato
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ― William Arthur Ward
“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” ― Peter F. Drucker
“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell