I was facilitating a mentoring workshop earlier this week with a great group of learning designers and one of the key topics I always include is the core attributes of an effective mentor and an effective mentee.
During the workshop, the participants were set the task of completing my MAP (Mentor Attributes Profile) and IMP (Ideal Mentee Profile) activities, where they identified 5 core professional skills & knowledge and 5 core interpersonal qualities (there are so many more attributes but limiting it to 5 of each really makes people think about the essential ones the mentor and mentee need to possess).
At every workshop I always gather people’s feedback on these and add them to my ‘attributes list’. Here are just a few taken from that ever-growing list:
- Builds and maintains trust
- Creates a safe learning environment
- Willing to share knowledge, experience, and expertise
- Cultural awareness and respect
- Change management skills
- Provides effective feedback
- Models good practice
- Conscious communicator
- Genuine and authentic
- Invests time, energy, and effort in the relationship
- Maintains confidentiality
I could add many more but for now, how would you measure your attributes as a mentor against these?
Then – and this is a very important next step – ask yourself: “How do I know I possess these skills and qualities? What is my evidence?” Because if you don’t do this step 2, all you really have is a list. To be truly effective as a mentor, you need to reflect on the attributes you bring to the role and how you influence and impact on your mentee’s development.
What would you identify as your core attributes? And how do you know?