Mentorship

How To Know If You'll Be A Great Mentor

Being a mentor can be one of the most exciting decisions you make. You’ll be in a position to help someone else develop skills and habits and build a successful career. But it can feel intimidating to call yourself a mentor. In this article, we'll address why we can hesitate to take on the role of a mentor and how to know if you have what it takes.

Ryan Carruthers

October 29, 2021

Success in any industry involves more than just hard work and good luck. There have likely been people that have helped you throughout your career. Now that you’ve accomplished some things in your career, you may be wondering if it is time for you to give back and help others.

Being a mentor can feel intimidating, but it shouldn’t

Making a decision to mentor someone can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You might be wondering if you have enough skills or experience to advise someone else. This is called imposter syndrome. According to Time magazine, this is the feeling that you’ve only been successful because of luck, not because of your hard work or talent. People with imposter syndrome feel like they are going to be found out to be frauds. At least 70 percent of people feel this at some point in their lives and careers.

Experts interviewed for the magazine article note that there are several ways to overcome these feelings. One of the most important ways to beat feelings of inadequacy is to internalize your successes. Think of all the work you put into getting yourself to where you are. Having imposter syndrome feelings may simply mean that you’re humble. And that is something that you can teach a mentee to be as well.

The qualities of a great mentor (how to know if you fit the mould)

If you’re unsure you have what it takes to be a great mentor, consider whether you have the following characteristics that are key to a winning mentorship experience.

Qualities of Great Mentors

Skilled and experienced in the field and industry

If you’ve worked in your industry and organization for many years, you’re an ideal fit to mentor a newcomer to the company. Think about what you’ve learned and how valuable your experience and expertise are to someone just starting out in their career. What things do you wish you had known when you first started working? Share those with your mentee. You should also keep in mind that mentorships are important to your organization’s succession planning. Passing along what you know means the next generation of leaders will be that much further ahead.

Desire or motivated to share wisdom

Do you feel drawn to mentoring? Have you had a memorable mentoring experience in your past? How much value do you place on workplace mentorships? A good mentor understands the importance of mentorship. You should have a desire to mentor someone and take the mentoring program seriously.

Commitment to extra responsibility

Being a mentor will be an extra draw on your time. Think carefully about whether you can commit. You may need to spend extra time helping your mentee overcome a challenge or solve a problem. It is all about being an effective mentor.

Positivity

An optimistic approach can help your mentee feel comfortable opening up to you. A positive attitude helps others know that you truly care about finding a solution to their problem. For a mentee, it is much easier to connect with you if they know you have positivity.

Effective communicator

Communication is one of the most critical traits in your career and mentorship. You’ll need to know how to offer constructive feedback and guidance to your mentee. Some situations may call for a little extra finesse, and a good communicator knows just how to handle it.

Are fulfilled in their job

Mentees often look at what you’ve accomplished and would like to follow a similar career path. However, if you’re not happy where you are, it will be challenging to be an effective mentor. Mentorships call for some enthusiasm about helping your mentee grow with the company.

Enjoys learning

Good mentors love to learn. They do a lot of reading and research to stay up-to-date with industry developments. If you enjoy attending workshops and training sessions, you’ll have what it takes to help your mentee develop their own love of learning. You will also be able to pass along what you’ve learned to your mentee.

Team player

Individuals who are good team players have keen listening skills and a strong ability to communicate effectively. Both those skills come in handy as a mentor. It shows that you value others and know how to work together to achieve a goal.

Emotionally intelligent

The ability to see things from another perspective is vital for successful mentoring. While there may be some similarities between you and your mentee, there could also be some significant differences. Emotionally intelligent people are able to empathize with others and work together to find a productive solution to challenges or problems at work.

Ready to become a mentor?

Being a mentor can be one of the most exciting decisions you make. You’ll be in a position to help someone else develop skills and habits and build a successful career. As a mentor, you can also help them achieve their goals and offer advice to overcome challenges they may face. But there is much to be gained for you too. Mentors will develop stronger leadership skills, like communication and have the opportunity to give back to others. In this way, you have an opportunity to pass along the kindness and sound advice that you’ve received throughout your career.

If you’re passionate about sharing your experience and knowledge, don’t hesitate, sign up to be a mentor with your Together account today!

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