What Makes a Great Mentor? Top Qualities Every Mentor Should Have


A great mentor should exhibit these qualities.

While the concept of mentoring has been around since the ancient times, it is now finally being recognized as an important tool that can help ensure the success of organizations and businesses all over the world. In fact, about 70% of Fortune 500 companies are now offering mentorship programs to ensure that their younger colleagues will reach their full potential.

Aside from ensuring the success of your employees (which also translates to the success of your organization), offering a mentorship program can also help your business in a number of ways. It can help you attract and retain the best talent, improve the productivity of your employees and facilitate the sharing of information to ensure that valuable organizational knowledge is not lost.

Top Qualities of a Good Mentor

Not everyone can be a good mentor. While there are those who can inspire others to give it their best shot, there are those who have the opposite effect on their mentees. So, what makes a good mentor? Here are some of the qualities every mentor should have.

A good mentor exhibits the ability and willingness to share wisdom. Every mentor is recognized as an expert in his or her own right. However, the ability and willingness to share what he knows separates the good from the inept mentor. Always remember that a good mentor takes time to reflect about his own experiences before passing his insights to others, and communicates them in a crystal clear manner.

A good mentor is approachable. A mentee should not experience any difficulties in approaching his or her mentor. A good mentor makes himself available within the agreed time and makes the most of the time he spends with his mentee. He makes the necessary preparations well ahead of time, listens carefully to what his mentee wants to say and provides the most appropriate advice at all times.

A good mentor is candid and straightforward. The best mentors do not praise their mentees for a job well done. Instead, they provide constructive feedback to urge them to move forward and reach for their dreams. Rather than saying what their mentees want to hear, they tactfully discuss what they need to hear to make sure that they are on the right track.

A good mentor shows the right mix of compassion and objectivity. While establishing a more personal relationship is a big no-no, a good mentor should show his interest in the progress and achievements of his mentee. He should be able to give one-on-one guidance and openly share everything he knows to ensure the successful performance of his mentee.