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Becoming a Mentor

"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

Mentor Requirements

  • 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

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