How to identify a Good Mentor from a Bad One?
As mentioned in my 2 previous posts, where we shared the reason why you must have a mentor on your entrepreneurial journey to success. In this final post on this issues, I believe it is paramount to have the ability to identify a good mentor from a bad one. Obviously, we must be aware that the world is made up of the good, the bad and the ugly; same applies to mentors, there loads of good mentors and millions of very bad and horrible ones. So we got to be careful who we choose as our mentors to help and guide us to success. I honestly believe that mentoring is all about relationship between the mentor and the protégé.
A good mentoring relationship provides the protégé with someone that will share their professional knowledge and expertise in their field. A good mentor is available to answer any questions relevant to their expertise. In addition, a good mentor-protégé relationships can be in two forms; consequently, if you want a good relationship with your mentor, become a good protégé. This requires a genuine interest in your mentor and a willingness to do what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur like your mentor. Following suggestions and recommendations as well as reading all pertinent literature available in the field is a good way to show your mentor that you are committed to being successful and that you take your career and responsibilities seriously.
Here are qualities that separates a good mentor from the bad ones;
A good mentor possesses the following qualities:
1. Takes a personal interest in the mentoring relationship: Good mentors do not take their responsibility as a mentor lightly. They feel invested in the success of their protégé. Usually this requires someone who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and possesses the attributes of a good teacher or trainer. Excellent communication skills are also required. A good mentor is committed to helping their mentees find success and gratification in their chosen profession. Overall good mentoring requires empowering the mentee to develop their own strengths, beliefs, and personal attributes.
2. Willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise: A good mentor is willing to teach what he/she knows and accept the protégé where they currently are in their professional development. Good mentors can remember what it was like just starting out in the field. The mentor does not take the mentoring relationship lightly and understands that good mentoring requires time and commitment and is willing to continually share information and their ongoing support with the mentee.
3. Demonstrates a positive attitude and acts as a positive role model: A good mentor shows the personal attributes it takes to be successful in the field. By showing their protégé what it takes to be productive and successful, they are demonstrating the specific behaviors and actions required to succeed in the field.
4. Exhibits enthusiasm in their Expertise: A mentor who does not exhibit enthusiasm about his/her business/expertise will ultimately not make a good mentor. Enthusiasm is catching and novice entrepreneurs want to feel as if their business mission has meaning and the potential to create a good life.
5. Values ongoing learning and growth in the Industry: Mentors are in a position to illustrate how the industry is growing and changing and that even after many years there are still new things to learn. Anyone that feels stagnant in their current position will not make a good mentor. When starting out in a new career, people want to feel that the time and energy they spend learning will be rewarded and will ultimately provide them with career satisfaction. Good mentors are committed and are open to experimenting and learning practices that are new to the field. They continually study professional materials and may even write articles on subjects where they have developed some expertise. They are excited to share their knowledge with new people entering the field and take their role seriously in teaching their knowledge to others. They may choose to teach or attend classes to further develop their knowledge and skills. They enjoy taking workshops and attending professional conferences provided through their membership in professional associations.
6. Provides guidance and constructive feedback: One of the key responsibilities of a good mentor is to provide guidance and constructive feedback to their protege. This is where the protege will most likely grow the most by identifying their current strengths and weaknesses and learning how to use these to make themselves successful in the field. A good mentor possess excellent communication skills and is able to adjust their communication to the personality style of the protege. A good mentor will also provide the protege with challenges that will foster professional development and a feeling of accomplishment in learning the field.
7. Respected within the industry
Ideally people look up to their mentors and can see themselves filling the mentor’s role in the future. They want to follow someone who is well respected within the industry and whose contribution is well appreciated.
8. Sets and meets ongoing personal and professional goals: A good mentor continually sets a good example by showing how his/her personal habits are reflected by personal and professional goals and overall personal success.
9. Values the opinions and initiatives of others: A mentor who values others is also someone who works well in a team environment and is willing to share his/her success. A good mentor appreciates the ongoing effort of their protégé and empowers him/her through positive feedback and reinforcement.
10. Motivates others by setting a good example: The ultimate success of being a good mentor…
Do you agree with the ideas shared? If so why not implement them to choose the right mentor for yourself if you haven’t got one. You can share your thoughts and ideas in the comment box below this post.
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To your success,
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