The Top 4 Qualities of Great Mentors

Mentoring ignites boldness by answering doubt with relational learning.
the path toward extraordinary 

4 qualities of great mentors:

#1. Humility:

The guide isn’t the star of the show.

Fight the urge toward self-importance.  Feeling that you know more or have the answer for someone else translates into closed ears, opened mouths, and arrogant hearts.

Knowledge puffs up.

Successful mentors aren’t superior to anyone. Humility is the first quality to look for in a mentor. Arrogant mentors mold proteges into their own image. Humble mentors bring practical value while lighting the path of self-discovery.

Humility levels relationships.

Mentors and mentees experience mutual learning. One mentor asked, “How do you manage your calendar?” Our discussion helped me clarify and elevate the law of protection. Frankly, my calendering practice may not work well for others, but his question put me on the path of self-discovery and clarity.

#2. Not Helping:

Helping too much hinders. Open-hearted mentors may help too much.

Those who struggle grow.

The best help is helping others help themselves. Hand-holding promotes helplessness and fear.

Dependence in proteges reflects neediness in mentors.

#3. Truth with compassion:

Sledgehammers take less finesse than scalpels.

Mentors offer truthful feedback with compassion.

Truth without compassion creates barriers that hinder relationships.

You lose when others feel they need to protect themselves from your “honesty.” Don’t trash open hearts.

Questioning and exploration often work better than statements.

#4. Courageous candor:

Compassion isn’t an excuse for dishonesty.

Fuel for courageous candor:

  1. Commit to another’s highest good. (They must believe and feel it.)
  2. Participate in their journey Don’t stand aloof.
  3. Accept mentees for who they are.
  4. Focus more on maximizing strengths than fixing weaknesses.
  5. Find paths forward that suit mentees, be flexible.
  6. Clarify goals and purpose. A powerful “why” softens the blow of tough truths.
  7. Know yourself. Mild mentors may need more candor, bold less.

What qualities do you look for in a mentor?

What negative qualities hamper mentors?

**I can’t determine if mentoring or maximizing is the most important word in the leader’s dictionary. Thoughts?

Announcement: I’m giving the keynote for a mentoring conference in Central PA on Oct. 23, 2014. Join me.