How To Be An Exceptional Mentor

Administrative Assistant Resource
April 15, 2014 — 4,478 views  
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The origins of the first mentor can be traced back to the Greek mythology chronicled in Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey”. Odysseus’s close aide Mentor was entrusted with the responsibility of looking after his son Telemachus, as Odysseus forayed into the Trojan War. The modern use of the term mentor derives its meaning from the role of Mentor in Telemachus’ life, as a trusted adviser who guides and imparts scholarly wisdom to an inexperienced individual.

A modern day mentor is a professional, equipped with the indispensable skills that make him/her the perfect choice for the mentoring process in an organization. The mentoring process requires the mentor to assume the role of a confidant and a counsel with whom the mentee can discuss work-related issues and career development options. A brief look into the checklist of some highly sought after traits that make for an ideal mentor will be more enlightening.

Signs of a Good Mentor

Good mentoring relationship

A mentor must be mentally prepared to assume the role of a guide who is to motivate and nurture an employee’s growth and development in an organization. A general trust building routine has a mentor taking personal interest in the mentee’s working style, immediate work goals and professional aspirations. A routine evaluation along with a feedback mechanism and an easily accessible communication channel in the organization helps in measuring the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship.

Leads by example

A mentor must demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and moral conduct that help a mentee effortlessly model his/her approach. A mentor should embody characteristics like loyalty, respect, courage, commitment and professional integrity. A mentor should be consciously aware of his/her conduct in the organization as it is a source of confidence for newcomers to affiliate as their mentee.

Networking expert

Networking skills are the trademark of a good mentor and are equally vital for long term career enhancing benefits for the mentee. A mentor plays the role of a sponsor who advocates on behalf of the mentee and connects him/her to the professionals in the network.

Pushes and motivates

A good mentor should offer constructive feedback, pointing out areas that can be improved upon to ensure that the mentee does not stray below a particular level of performance. A mentee’s state of mind reflects in his/her level of engagement in the work, which affects the performance of the organization altogether. A mentee may need the mentor’s counsel and validation during professionally turbulent times to gain a better perspective of their goals and the required level of commitment.

Looks out for the protege

A mentor keeps a watchful eye on the immediate working environment of the mentee, looking out for trouble in the form a threatening organizational atmosphere, conflicting situations or difficult assignments. Lessons in incorporating diplomacy, a professional corporate demeanor and conflict management skills can be a helpful addition to developing a mentee’s knowledge base.

At the end of the day a mentor-mentee association is symbiotic in nature wherein the mentee benefits from the shared experiences and the wealth of organizational knowledge while a mentor gets to leave an imprint on the mentee’s work life.

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