10 Qualities and Skills of a Great Mentor

In this article, we share the top 10 key qualities and skills that define an exceptional mentor.

Happy Mentor« Back to Articles

Mentoring is an incredibly rewarding and powerful relationship that can have a huge impact on an individual's personal and professional development. When someone is looking for a mentor, or looking to improve their mentoring skills, there are several skills and qualities that they need to keep in mind.

In this article, we share the top 10 key qualities and skills that define an exceptional mentor.

1. Experience and Expertise

A good mentor has relevant expertise, knowledge and experience that aligns with the goals of their mentee. They have successfully gone through their own career and have obtained insight they can share. An example of this could be a marketing graduate, finding a marketing manager with over 10+ years of experience and asking them to be their mentor. The experiences of a mentor can help a mentee make better decisions and overcome challenges.

2. Approachability

Being approachable is an essential quality that all good mentors need to possess. Mentoring is a personal relationship that is built on openness and trust. The more comfortable a mentee feels with their mentor, the higher the chances are of the relationship being successful. A good mentor is open, friendly and creates a comfortable environment where the mentee can share their concerns and ideas, without hesitation.

3. Emotional Intelligence

High levels of emotional intelligence are something all great mentors need to have if they want to have thriving mentoring relationships. Emotional intelligence is all about how an individual manages and understands their emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Mentors need to be able to relate to and understand the emotions and challenges of their mentee if they want to provide the right support, advice and guidance to help their mentee go further.

4. Problem-Solving Abilities

One of the reasons people seek mentorship is because they are facing specific challenges in either their personal or professional lives. This is why a great mentor needs to possess strong problem-solving skills. Mentors need to be able to help their mentee review their challenges, explore solutions and make better decisions moving forward. A mentor with good problem-solving abilities can help guide the mentee to take appropriate action.

5. Patience

Patience is a key quality people need to have, more specifically mentors. This is a key quality mentors need to have because it means they can understand that personal and professional growth is a slow process and not something that happens overnight. A good mentor allows their mentee to learn at their own pace, whilst providing guidance and support on their journey. When a mentor possesses good patience, it helps facilitate a supportive and non-judgemental environment.

6. Feedback

There’s no denying that constructive feedback is key for professional and personal growth. This is why a good mentor needs to be able to give feedback when it’s needed. A good mentor can give constructive and honest feedback, being able to highlight areas of improvement for their mentee and also recognise their strengths. A good mentor can give feedback in a way which is respectful without shying away from the truth because they feel afraid to upset their mentee.

7. Non-judgemental

An effective mentor is someone who can listen to their mentee without being judgemental. Mentoring relationships are built on trust, which is hard to achieve when someone in the relationship is judgemental towards the other. The role of a mentor is to create a safe space, where the mentee can discuss situations they face, without fear of being judged. A good mentor is there to offer their mentee support when they face challenging situations, which is why the mentor must be able to listen without making judgments.

8. Flexibility

A good mentor is resilient, adaptable and flexible. The most successful mentors are those who can adapt and be flexible in their approach to mentoring. Mentors need to fully understand that each of their mentees is unique, from the strengths they possess to their most effective learning style. A great mentor can provide information to their mentee on how they can adapt to new challenges, tasks and environments, but to do so, they need to tailor the guidance they provide. This helps create a personalised growth and development plan which will help the mentee successfully reach their goals.

9. Active Listener

One of the most crucial skills and qualities that a mentor needs to have is the ability to listen actively to their mentee. Active listening is all about taking the time to understand the other person, which is crucial in mentoring. When a mentor can pay attention to the concerns, challenges and aspirations of their mentee, they create more effective communication and have a better understanding of the situation at hand. Being an active listener also allows mentors to tailor their support to the needs of the mentees, which as mentioned above is important to help the mentee grow.

10. Confidential

Mentoring is a personal relationship, which means there is a sense of vulnerability that comes with it. Mentoring relationships need to be confidential if the mentor and mentee want to build trust and rapport. During sessions sensitive and personal information may be shared, such as the challenges the mentee faces at work or in their personal lives. The mentor may also share personal stories, which they might not want others to know. Due to this, confidentiality is a priority in mentoring relationships and it’s recommended that during the first mentoring meeting, this expectation is discussed in detail.

Final Thoughts

Mentoring is an invaluable experience that everyone needs to try at least once in their lifetime. Whether you hope to find the perfect mentor for you or become the best mentor you can be, keep in mind these skills and qualities. To learn more about mentoring, become a mentor or be a mentor, make sure to check out PushFar.

Welcome to PushFar, the world's largest mentoring platform. Whether you're looking to find a mentor or launch your own mentoring programs and schemes, we can help.
Looking for a mentor or to become a mentor?
Join Now Free Running your own mentoring programs?
Request a Demo

Explore more articles...

Similar mentoring, career progression and learning articles and resources by PushFar, you might like to read.

Go Further, with PushFar.

What are you looking for in your mentoring journey?
Individual Mentoring - Join Free
Organisation Solutions - Request a Demo