A mentor is a person who provides you with the tools, guidance, support, and feedback you need to thrive in your career. They’re often someone who’s gone down the same road you’re on currently and is there to advise you on what they’ve done and what’s worked for them. They can be peers, or seasoned professionals.
Not all mentors are created equal, but the best mentors share some important qualities which we are going to discuss in this blog.
1. Relevant Expertise or Knowledge
This one may seem rather obvious, but your mentor will ideally have relevant background and experience to you and your role. Maybe they’re a few levels or titles ahead of you or have worked in the space you’re interested in for some time, but they should be able to help propel you forward because they’ve been there, seen the landscape, and know what it takes to be successful.
2. Enthusiasm for Sharing That Expertise
The energy and attitude your mentor has for guidance matters. The best mentors give advice not because they like to hear themselves talk, but because they genuinely want others to benefit from the hard-won wisdom they’ve learned over the course of their careers. They should be open and excited to spend time working on things with you – whether it is techniques, strategies, problem solving or incentives.
3. A Respectful Attitude
This should go without saying, but you don’t want someone who criticizes you harshly and unconstructively. That makes for an unproductive and frustrating partnership. A good mentor will have your best interests at heart and will be capable of speaking directly but with respect.
4. The Ability to Give Honest and Direct Feedback
Finding someone who’s respectful is key, but so is finding someone who will give you some tough love when you need it. A good mentor knows how to deliver feedback in a way that’s constructive, kind, and direct, and doesn’t shy away from being honest because they’re afraid of hurting your feelings. At the end of the day, you choose your mentor because you want to learn and grow – having someone identify your areas of opportunity is key to your growth.
5. Reflective Listening and Empathy
Choose a mentor who can listen to your unique situation and perspective, so they can give you advice that is relevant to your personal goals. These are important qualities in a mentor because they can have all the answers in their head, but if they’re not willing to listen to where you’re coming from, they’re not going to be able to steer you in the direction that you want to go.
Ready to consider mentorships? We have our ACE Virtual Peer Network to connect you with like-minded peers, and one-on-one mentorships hours with a seasoned and successful Executive Assistant who is prepared to help you map the way to your full potential.
Want to learn more? Visit our website or give us a call.