4 Qualities You Should Look For In A Fantastic Mentor
Whether they’re ahead of you in their career, are great coaches, or simply admirable people – mentors play an important role in both personal and professional growth. Many of the world’s most successful people have credited their mentors for the guidance received and lessons taught throughout their careers. A fantastic mentor doesn’t just provide advice, but also tells you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. Your mentor should also possess the qualities that you would like to emulate throughout your career, which is why it is so important to choose them carefully. Fantastic mentors are rare, so when choosing yours, look for these four qualities as a great foundation:
Whilst sometimes we don’t wish to hear the truth, a fantastic mentor will always be honest with you. When constructive feedback is provided, you are much more likely to grow in your personal and professional abilities. Honest advice, whether it is about a career move or a business decision, will ensure that you are making a rational choice. It will also help you to understand the importance of providing honest feedback, for future times when you may be in a mentoring or management role.
2. Willingness to share knowledge
One of the main reasons we turn to mentors is to learn from their skills and expertise. A fantastic mentor is someone who is willing to share this knowledge with their mentee, and contribute greatly to their professional development. Mentors should touch on the lessons they learnt when they were in the same position as the mentee, and try to be as relatable as possible. Continual sharing of information is essential to this relationship, and is important for the growth and development of both parties.
3. Belief in continuous learning
Someone who believes that they have learnt all that needs to be covered in their field should not be your mentor. No matter what role you are in, the business environment changes every day. A fantastic mentor is someone who values the idea of continuous learning, and actively tries to further his or her knowledge on a regular basis. Actions such as reading professional journal articles, or even conducting personal research, shows that the mentor is interested in learning new things. This is a fantastic habit to emulate from your mentor, as your role will always be adapting to cater for new technologies and trends.
4. Excellent listening skills
As a mentor, it is also important to be able to sit back and listen to your mentee. If a mentor is constantly providing advice without listening, the mentee will feel like they are just being lectured. Fantastic mentors ensure they don’t cut off the mentee during conversation, or attempt to finish their sentences. They also don’t immediately dismiss the ideas of a mentee, but instead ask them for their reasoning. Again, listening skills are an excellent quality to gain from your mentor and will be of benefit to you throughout your entire career.
What do you think?
Are you a mentee or mentor who would like to add some qualities to this list? There are bound to be more than four which exist, and I’d love to hear what you consider to be number one. Share your views below and join the AIB conversation.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.