Over the last 3 years i’ve had the chance to lead an online mentorship program. I’ve learned a lot about mentorship and education in general.
As we’ve now served students in 67 countries (that’s 34% of all countries on Earth) i’ve learned what makes a good mentor, and what makes a great mentor.
I’ve boiled down the list in my head to the seven traits that the BEST mentors possess.
This is incredibly important for a mentor. An apprentice might not understand everything you are saying, right away. If you get frustrated easily, or can’t be patient with someone on their journey of growth, you are probably a terrible mentor.
Mentoring someone is not the same as teaching.
Teaching is more narrowly focused on certain subjects, while mentoring is far more holistic.
The best mentors are not only patient with you, they are world class experts in their field. The best mentors understand where their craft came from and where it is going.
A broad base of expertise is essential in the best mentors.
This goes beyond just patience to something much deeper in human relationships. The ability to sense where the apprentice is emotionally so they can encourage when necessary or even reprimand in other cases.
The best mentors understand that growing someone’s skill is a delicate balance between their knowledge and psychological well being.
We don’t like to always admit it, but people are often fragile. One or two wrong comments away from being discouraged. The best mentors consider the whole of their apprentice and is sensitive to emotional well being through their journey of growth.
A mentor who only encourages you, is not fully taking on their role. There are times we need to be corrected and given the truth in plain terms.
At MoGraph Mentor this often means being honest about the quality of work. Not is harsh terms, but in true terms.
A mentor who only wants you to feel good 100% of the time, isn’t fully mentoring you.
Often time the most valuable mentoring we can receive is honest and shows us plainly where our blind spots lay. To correct is to care.
Love Of Diversity
This is especially true in our online program. We have served students in 67 countries. From the USA to Saudi Arabia to China. From Nepal to Croatia to Brazil. From Belgium to Iran to India. You get the idea. The program is very diverse.
The best mentors do not tolerate this diversity, they flat out celebrate it as a chance for everyone involved to become more enlightened through these perspectives.
A mentor who doesn’t love a diversity of views is probably too limited in their thinking to offer you much insight.
Passion To Learn
The best mentors, are also, students for life.
I have found this to be abundantly true in our mentors.
The best mentors we’ve had, also displayed a passion to learn and grow themselves.
This type of attitude is contagious and affects the apprentice in a positive way. The best mentors, probably have mentors of their own.
Backbone For Accountability
Sometimes people are stubborn about change. They don’t want to see their blind spots, or be forced to make profound changes in their thinking.
The best mentors have the backbone to confront this head on and create accountability.
People often speak about changing their lives, but when the reality turns out to be more difficult, some shy away.
The best mentors pull those people back in and create accountability along their journey of growth.
A mentor can’t force someone to change, but they can hold an apprentice accountable in hopes that you make their actions apparent to themselves.
A weak mentor will let you drift away from your goals to avoid the unpleasant conversation.
The best mentors demand more.
I feel so fortunate to have worked with our mentor teams, who display these traits time and time again. I say it all the time, but it’s worth stating again. Without the excellent mentors in our program, the program would be nothing.
The best mentors have the knowledge, patience and backbone to truly help people change their lives. I’ve seen it time and again in MoGraph Mentor.
So if you find a mentor, or are searching, look for these 7 traits and you’ll likely end up with a very impactful relationship.