Effective Mentorship

This excellent summary of traits of highly effective mentors courtesy of Michael Hyatt:

Be a servant. Remember the mentee is the hero. You, the mentor, are the guide. Your job is to support, never to undermine, supplant, or steal the limelight.

Be observant. Notice everything, even details that don’t seem particularly relevant. Your advice is shaped by what you see. Make sure to see enough to have beneficial advice.

Be nonjudgmental. Listen to your mentee without sizing up and judging them. This doesn’t mean you have to approve, but influence takes access and judgmentalism will close the door.

Be curious. Ask good questions—this is more important than having the answers. A mentee will often come to the right answer on her own if she has the right questions.

Be authentic. Be who you are, even if it feels a bit old fashioned. Remember, as a mentor your most important asset is you—everything you know and have experienced.

Be calm. Cooler heads, as the saying goes, prevail. A good mentor can keep the temperature down. This is especially important when things get chaotic and others freak out.

Be confident. Mentees need wisdom and insight, not tactics—which they can get practically anywhere. Realize your experience is relevant, even if you don’t understand the nuances of the mentee’s industry.

Be reassuring. In the midst of challenging times, it’s easy to lose sight of our value and what we’re capable of. When the stakes are high, remind your mentee of what she has already accomplished.

Be courageous. Call on your mentee to make the difficult decision or have the difficult conversation. This is sometimes the only thing that separates success from failure.

Be generous. When the mentee achieves the desired result, give her the credit. Always interpret other’s actions in the best possible light.


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