What Makes A Great Mentor?

Posted April 5, 2019, by Elesha

Guidance from a great mentor can play a powerful role in shaping a stellar career. 

When the fit is right, the relationship between a mentor and their mentee is something truly special and rewarding for both parties. If you’ve been thinking of formally, or informally, mentoring someone, here’s exactly what it takes to be a great mentor.

Qualities Of A Great Mentor

The best mentors, no matter what industry they’re in, all have a few great qualities in common. 

A Willingness To Share Knowledge

“A small amount of time invested on your part to share your expertise can open up a new world for someone else.” – Mark Zuckerberg

When a mentor takes on a mentee, they should have a willingness (and excitement!) to share their own knowledge. Whether formal or informal, the transference of knowledge and fostering of skills lies at the core of mentorship. If a mentor isn’t willing to continually share what they’ve learned with the mentee, it won’t be a valuable relationship.

Enthusiasm For Their Own Role And Industry

Enthusiasm is contagious and the right mentor can motivate their mentee through their passion for their own role and industry.

Great mentors are usually highly respected by their peers for the work they do and their careers are a testament to the benefits and value of their chosen field.

A Patient, Positive And Compassionate Attitude

A great mentor remembers what it’s like to be where the mentee is in their career journey.

When their mentee makes mistakes or gets off track, a great mentor won’t be too quick to throw in the towel. Instead, they’ll be patient in their guidance and understand that sometimes it takes a few failures for a lesson to really stick.

A Genuine Interest In Mentorship

A disengaged mentor who is simply ‘ticking the boxes’ won’t be as valuable as one who is genuinely interested and invested in developing the professional success of their mentee. 

Many mentorships commence as a formal arrangement for a set amount of time, but those with a genuine connection can often continue on informally for years.  

A Passion For Learning

While they might be mentoring others, a great mentor never stops learning themselves.

Anyone at the top of their career game is a life long learner. They know how important it is to learn new things, no matter how long they’ve been in the field.

A good mentor keeps on top of trends and professional development in their industry. 


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