10 Oct 3 Traits of Mentors That Business Leaders Can Learn From
Nearly 82% of women in the US agree that having a mentor is important. And yet in the same way, nearly 52% of women say they don’t have a mentor because they have never found “someone appropriate.”
When it comes to being a mentor, there is a lot for the mentee, male or female, to gain, and there is a high responsibility placed on the mentor for what they have to offer. But it is these traits and skills that they offer that allow them to become sought after in their industry. It is these same traits that workplace leaders and business owners can seek to emulate to make business better and employees happier.
1. Offering Wisdom
In the words of Annabel Acton, you can think of mentorship as a way to “soak up wisdom of those who have gone before you.” In other words, you get to have someone who has made the mistakes, gone down the wrong path, or had things go wrong, and then learn from them without having to do it all yourself.
This insight, wisdom, and powerful sequence of lessons, is some of the most valuable education and perceptiveness that a mentor can offer. In the same way, as a business leader, offering your own insight and wisdom to your employees is an extremely beneficial way for them to learn and improve – and for your business grow as a result.
2. No Judgement
Perhaps most importantly, when it comes to a mentorship, a good mentor doesn’t judge. In many cases, the mentor has walked the path of the mentee and is there to guide them along, not judge the path they are on.
A boss or business owner needs to take on a similar role. Passing judgement on your employees, their choices, their thought processes, or the work they turn out will not be progressive for you, them, or the business. Instead, refrain from judging and practice giving constructive feedback instead. Opening up a two-way feedback channel between you and the mentee improves relationships and progresses results.
3. Honesty & Approachability
If there is one thing an employee needs in a workplace it is someone they know they can talk to and who feels approachable. Whether it’s new ideas, or a problem with fellow employees, nobody likes to work in a place where they don’t feel heard, or feel like it isn’t right to step forward and stand up for themselves.
Good mentors have this ability to be approachable and willing to communicate, while still being honest when it comes to criticism or feedback. As a workplace leader or mentor, you too need to be able to strike this happy balance between these dynamics. Be someone your employees or mentees can talk to and learn from at the same time!
Whether you are looking for a mentor to guide you on your career path, or a business leader who is looking to pass your knowledge onto a new generation, these characteristics are critical in creating a fruitful mentor/mentee relationship.