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5 characteristics of a successful mentor

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 Posted in Business Strategy

5 characteristics of a successful mentor

One of the most fulfilling things you can do is share your knowledge and experience by mentoring someone who is passionate to learn what you know. Sharing what you know as a mentor can be just as powerful for you as it is for your mentee.

There are different scenarios for the mentor-mentee relationship. Sometimes mentors and mentees are actually employed at the same business, and the relationship may develop informally or by mandate. Other times, the relationship develops between two people who are not commonly employed and don’t work together in any way. On occasion, you’ll find a paid mentoring program such as our Infusionsoft Mentor Program. Often the relationship is initially pursued by the mentee when they have defined a need and know you have the skill and experience to help them meet that need.

Becoming a mentor brings with it a responsibility to the mentee and the process. Having mentored many people in different roles, there are 5 things that I believe are critical to successful mentoring.

  1. Selflessness. As Robert B. Wegman said, “ Never think about yourself; always help others.” This is so true for mentoring. The benefit to you is more esoteric and only happens as your mentee gets what they need from you.
  2. Integrity. Your reputation is part of the reason your mentee reached out to. Promise what you can, then deliver.
  3. Honesty. There’s no value for your mentee if you sugarcoat what they need to know. Be real, be upfront, and when needed, be brutal with what you tell them.
  4. Generosity. In past centuries, knowledge was passed on by storytelling. Mentoring is like storytelling, 21st century-style. You’re sharing your knowledge, expertise, and experience to another person as a way of leveraging it. Be generous with it and know that future generations will benefit. Pay it forward.
  5. Accountability. Part of what you share as a mentor is inherent in how you behave and how you present yourself. Do what you say you’ll do.

As a mentee, what’s the one thing you would find most valuable from your mentor?

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