Inspirational mentoring: Mentorship that matters

May 25, 2019

Mentors are often those who can speak wisdom and encouragement into a person’s life. Through personal experience, they can offer insights into situations that we may not otherwise have. A good mentor is one who builds us up and helps us become the best version of ourselves.

The mentee is usually the one leading the mentorship. It is their initiative that has brought them to the program. It is their goals that both mentor and mentee are looking to achieve. Most mentees just need someone encouraging them and motivating them to do their best.

When it comes to a workplace mentoring program, there are benefits for everyone involved, the mentor, mentee and even the organization as a whole. Researchers have found that the promotion and retention rates of minorities can be improved over 30 percentfor those involved in a mentoring program.

Tips to be an inspiring mentor

Often, the character of the mentor plays a big role in determining the success of a mentorship. How much a mentor gets out of a workplace mentoring program can depend on the quality of the mentor.

If you want to be an inspiration to your mentee, here are a few tips on how to do that.

  1. Serve. The most outstanding mentors are those who genuinely want to give back and make a difference in someone’s life. No matter where you are in your career, being a mentor can also enhance your own skills and life experience, even if you are already a business leader.
  2. Share. When it comes to being an inspiring mentor, sharing is key. That means don’t be afraid to pass along your knowledge and even your contacts. Introducing your mentee to your network doesn’t take anything away from you.
  3. Positivity. Rather than focusing on the skills or aptitudes that a mentee lacks, an inspirational mentor will help them develop their strengths. Be realistic about your mentee’s weak points and help them focus on developing the things they are good at.
  4. Give. Good mentors do it to help others rather than gain something for themselves. If you give of yourself without expecting something in return, it can make a big difference in your mentoring relationship.
  5. Be real. Connect with your mentee by sharing some of your struggles. Mentors that have stories to tell show that overcoming hurdles and obstacles can be done. It can encourage your mentee to keep going when they are struggling.
  6. Engage. Talented mentors know what it takes to engage with others. They are skilled at drawing people out and helping them be their best.

Creating an inspirational mentorship

While there is no secret formula for developing a mentoring relationship that works, there are some factors that make it possible to create an inspiring mentorship connection. These include

  • Respect. One of the reasons that mentors and mentees should have formal training before embarking into a mentoring relationship is respect. Both parties should be willing and able to give and receive respect. This can pave the way to overcoming personality clashes or other issues in the mentorship.
  • Guidance. The mentor’s key role is to help the mentee develop themselves both professionally and personally. This can happen in many ways, but the mentor must take the role of leader and advisor.
  • Trust. The mentee needs to have faith in the mentor and any advice they offer before the relationship can help change them. If there is no trust in the foundation of the connection, there will be no growth.
  • Encourage. Good mentors know how to talk to and encourage their protégé. Resilience is an important quality in any line of work and mentees should be taught to develop it.  

Inspiring mentor quotes

Mentoring is a large part of life no matter who you are. Several famous people have offered their own thoughts about the importance of mentoring.

If you need some encouragement or want to offer your mentee some, here are inspirational quotes from well-known people about the benefits of mentoring.

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” — Steven Spielberg

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

“What I think the mentor gets is the great satisfaction of helping somebody along, helping somebody take advantage of an opportunity that maybe he or she did not have.” — Clint Eastwood

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

“Mentoring is a two-way street. The mentor gets wise while mentoring and the mentee gains knowledge through his/her mentor.” -Marisol Gonzalez

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

“Search for role models you can look up to and people who take an interest in your career. But here’s an important warning: you don’t have to have mentors who look like you. Had I been waiting for a black, female Soviet specialist mentor, I would still be waiting. Most of my mentors have been old white men, because they were the ones who dominated my field.” — Condoleeza Rice

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” —Steve Jobs


It is important to remember that no matter who you are or what industry you work in there is always an opportunity to mentor others. Throughout history, there have been examples of great men and women achieving amazing feats thanks to the support and encouragement of their mentors. From celebrities to sports stars to academics. Everyone can be inspired from having and from being a mentor.

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