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Qualities of a Mentor

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A mentor can be fundamental to an individual’s professional development; they provide guidance, share their knowledge, and develop the skills of their mentees, thereby allowing them to get a head start in their career.
This National Mentoring Day, we wanted to address an important question when considering taking on the responsibility of a mentor: what qualities are needed to become an effective and supportive mentor?

In this blog post, we’ve put together a selection of qualities all effective mentors should demonstrate.
1.      Demonstrate a positive attitude
A good mentor will demonstrate a positive attitude towards their job and enthusiasm for what they do. They will be active in supporting the mentee and will encourage the mentee’s personal and professional development.
2.      Act as a positive role model
Mentors are required to support their mentee but they must also act as a positive role model for their mentee. By constantly undertaking professional and personal development activities, such as studying a new course or attending a seminar, they are demonstrating to their mentee what is required to be productive and successful.
3.      Possess a willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise
Mentors should take an active interest in their own continuous learning by staying up to date with latest news through academic journals and membership websites. While engaging with these sources of information and knowledge for their own personal and professional development, they should be willing to share their knowledge and skills with their mentee, too.
4.      Be a good listener and demonstrate empathy
A successful mentoring relationship takes time and commitment, and a good mentor should listen effectively to any issues their mentee has. They should be able to put themselves in the mentee’s shoes, understand their problems, and relate to other similar situations that they have themselves encountered.
5.      Provide constructive feedback
Mentors should remember why they have taken up the responsibility of a mentor: to provide guidance to their mentee. This should form the basis of all their mentoring sessions and they should actively show that they are dedicated to helping their mentee.
6.      Value personal development and learning
Perhaps most importantly, a mentor should value the personal development and learning of the mentee and place this at the heart of all mentoring sessions and activities. The mentor should be excited to share knowledge within the sessions, partake in their mentee’s personal development, and become an advocate for lifelong learning. They will also encourage the mentee to understand challenges and obstacles that will, in the long run, help their professional development.
An effective mentor will find a balance between personal and professional relationship with their mentee, and will dedicate the time and effort needed to develop a working relationship with their mentee. They will take an active interest and responsibility in their mentee’s own professional and personal development, just as much as their own.
If you’re interested in becoming a coach or mentor, contact a member of the PNE Development team at or 0191 691 4901 where we’d be happy to explain our qualification. Alternatively, you can view our mentoring and coaching qualification, as well as our management and leadership qualifications, online in our Qualification Brochure.

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