"All mentors have two things in common: they believe in you and want to see you succeed, and they are willing to offer themselves to assure your success" — Chip MacGregor
What’s Involved in Mentoring?
Mentoring is the sharing of knowledge, skills and personal experiences to help someone grow professionally and achieve goals. It is a unique relationship that can be defined by the mentor and mentee together.
- Focus -- Mentoring can focus around skill development, career development or corporate culture awareness.
- Value -- Mentoring differs from training, coaching or counseling in that it takes place outside of a line manager-employee relationship; it is an indirect development process that extends value through objective feedback and a focus on nurturing inherent talent.
- Commitment -- The time, structure and style of the mentoring depends on the preferences and needs of the mentor and mentee.
If the mentor qualities and requirements below fit you, complete a confidential Mentor Survey so LTEN can match you with a mentee.
Successful Mentor Qualities
- Willingness to be candid, honest and positive
- Trustworthy; ability to keep discussions confidential
- Excellent listener and communicator
- Secure in their own abilities
- Aware of their own strengths and weaknesses
- Desire to succeed as a mentor
- Exhibits the qualities of a successful mentor
- Willingness to share experiences, expertise, insights and encouragement
- Minimum of two years as a trainer
- Current LTEN member
- Able to commit to at least six hours over a six-month period with mentee (1 hour per month)
Benefits of Mentoring
- Enhance leadership skills
- Active improvement of interpersonal skills
- Opportunity to offer creative, valuable suggestions
- Increase problem-solving skills
- Opportunity to provide a meaningful contribution to someone’s success
- Enhance reputation
Becoming a Capable Mentor
There are many ways a mentor can provide effective coaching. Depending on the needs of the mentee, this may include:
- Helping to shift his or her mental context
- Listening to a problem
- Identifying mentee feelings and verifying them (feedback)
- Effectively confronting negative intentions or behaviors
- Providing appropriate information when needed
- Delegating authority for giving permission
- Encouraging exploration of options
In addition, active listening and questioning are great skills to employ throughout the relationship. These tactics help clarify situations and reach conclusions:
- Listening for keywords that provide insight and point to potential action areas
- Allowing the mentee to talk without interruptions
- Accepting what the mentee says as genuine
- Responding with verbal and nonverbal reactions to signal interest
- Listening for tone of voice and implication
- Behaving in a trustworthy and open manner, and respecting confidentiality
For additional information, please contact Dawn Brehm, executive director, at dbrehm@L-TEN.org.