Characteristics of a Good Mentor

We talk about mentors all the time. They are someone who brings out the best in us, makes us a better person, or helps us figure out how to reach our own potential. Mentors are a form of role model for some people. It can be empowering to have a role model.

But what is a good mentor? What does it take to be a good mentor? Here are some characteristics of a good mentor:

* Good mentors offer great support and encouragement. If your mentor never challenges you to reach new levels of success, you may be on a mission that will never end. No matter how high your goal is, if your mentor never challenges you to go beyond, it is pointless. If you need something, then you need to ask.

* Mentors don’t expect instant results. Success takes time. That doesn’t mean you are going to be the next Bill Gates, but it does mean you won’t achieve your goals without a lot of hard work.

* Mentors can’t be fired. For some reason it is not acceptable to hold a bad person accountable. In a mentoring relationship, though, the person with whom you have the relationship with is not necessarily the person who should be fired.

* Mentors are willing to give guidance and help when needed. This might be advice or something as simple as finding your inner strength. If your mentor knows your strengths and weaknesses, he or she will be able to provide you with the support you need. But it’s also your responsibility to make sure you find the things you need and that they aren’t hidden under a pile of books.

* Mentors can help you get out of a rut. Sometimes we feel stuck in our ways. A mentor will come in and remind you why you are in your rut. A mentor won’t simply tell you to get over it, either. A mentor will remind you why you do what you do.

* Mentors don’t try to control you. Nothing good comes to a person who tries to control another person. You aren’t there to make sure you live up to a certain expectation of yourself. You are there to grow as a person.

* Mentors appreciate your individuality. Your strengths and your weakness are the only things you should be measured by. Your successes should only be judged by your achievements. Your failures should be measured by your failures.

* Mentors make you feel like a valued part of the team. We work best when we feel like we are all working together towards a common goal. When your mentor is really interested in helping you, you will want to help him or her as well.

* Be a mentor. Be there for your students. Don’t just hand them off to someone else when you feel like they need a shoulder to cry on. A mentor works better when there is a mutual respect between them.

We have all heard this so many times that we don’t question it anymore, but one thing we never look at is that you must have certain qualities to be a mentor. They can be tough to find, but they are out there. Being a mentor doesn’t have to mean you have to be tough or anything else that makes you seem bitter or unpleasant. It means that you need to show love and concern for your students.