When I was growing up I had a mentor that was my baseball coach. He would pick me up from school to make sure I didn’t get involved with the rough crowd and make poor decisions. He brought the best out of me on the baseball field. In 9th grade he died from a heart attack in his sleep. I was crushed and soon after I found myself with the wrong crowd and ended up in jail. I had a promising baseball career but didn’t have the guidance from a mentor to map me in the right direction. I was set in my rough ways. Having a mentor will help you recognize the value of networking and maintaining relationships leading you to a promising future.
A good mentor provides young people as well as old someone that will share their professional knowledge and expertise in any given field. A good mentor is available to answer any questions relevant to the relationship. Good mentor-mentee relationships are a two way street; consequently, if you want a good relationship with your mentor, become a good mentee or student of the mentor. This requires a genuine interest in your mentor and a willingness to do what it takes to become successful as a young person. Following suggestions and advice as well as reading and learning any important information about your goals is a good way to show your mentor that you are committed to being successful and that you take your career and responsibilities seriously.
A good mentor possesses the following qualities:
1. Willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise.
A good mentor is willing to teach what he/she knows and accept the young person where they currently are in their development. Good mentors can remember what it was like just starting out at the age of his/her mentee. The mentor does not take the mentoring relationship lightly and understands that good mentoring requires time and commitment and is willing to continually share information and their ongoing support with the mentee.
2. Demonstrates a positive attitude and acts as a positive role model.
A good mentor exhibits the personal attributes it takes to be successful in the field. By showing the mentee what it takes to be productive and successful, they are demonstrating the specific behaviors and actions required to succeed in the field.
3. Takes a personal interest in the mentoring relationship.
Good mentors do not take their responsibility as a mentor lightly. They feel invested in the success of the mentee. Usually this requires someone who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and possesses the attributes of a good teacher or trainer. Excellent communication skills are also required. A good mentor is committed to helping their mentees find success and satisfaction in their chosen profession. Overall good mentoring requires empowering the mentee to develop their own strengths, beliefs, and personal attributes.
4. Exhibits enthusiasm in the field.
A mentor who does not exhibit enthusiasm about his/her career will ultimately not make a good mentor. Enthusiasm is catching and young people want to feel as if their goals has meaning and the potential to create a good life.
5. Values ongoing learning and growth in the field.
Mentors are in a position to explain how the world is growing and changing and that even after many years there are still new things to learn. Anyone that feels stagnant in their current position in life will not make a good mentor. When starting out in a new career, people want to feel that the time and energy they spend learning will be rewarded and will ultimately provide them with career satisfaction. Good mentors are committed and are open to experimenting and learning practices that are new to the field. They are excited to share their knowledge with new people entering the field and take their role seriously in teaching their knowledge to others. They may choose to teach or attend classes to further develop their knowledge and skills. They enjoy taking workshops and attending professional conferences provided through their membership in professional associations.
6. Provides guidance and constructive feedback.
One of the key responsibilities of a good mentor is to provide guidance and constructive feedback to their mentee. This is where the mentee will most likely grow the most by identifying their current strengths and weaknesses and learning how to use these to make themselves successful in the world. A good mentor possesses excellent communication skills and is able to adjust their communication to the personality style of the mentee. A good mentor will also provide the mentee with challenges that will foster professional development and a feeling of accomplishment in learning the world.
7. Respected by friends, families and colleagues in all levels of society.
Ideally mentees look up to their mentors and can see themselves filling the mentor’s role in the future. Mentees want to follow someone who is well respected by surrounding people and whose contribution in the field is appreciated.
8. Sets and meets ongoing personal and professional goals.
A good mentor continually sets a good example by showing how his/her personal habits are reflected by personal and professional goals and overall personal success.
9. Values the opinions and initiatives of others.
A mentor who values others is also someone who works well in a team environment and is willing to share his/her success. A good mentor appreciates the ongoing effort of the mentee and empowers him/her through positive feedback and reinforcement.
10. Motivates others by setting a good example.
The ultimate success of being a good mentor…
Having a mentor is the next best thing to having your parents. Join a mentor-ship program in your community and someone will be waiting for you. Tell them your dreams and they will help draw the road map for you to get there. Take action for your life and make sure you always ask questions. Please share this article and comment with any feedback. Thank you.