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What type of mentor are you? Is it the Advocate, the Cheerleader, or the Master? Check out this quick guide on the traits of an ideal mentor, and the ways you can make a difference in your mentees' lives.

Being a mentor is no doubt a rewarding role but also a huge responsibility - not only can your mentees turn to you for guidance and advice, but there are many benefits for you personally we well. According to Mintcareer advisor Micheal Gilmore explains: "Employees who serve as mentors also report greater job satisfaction and greater career success [and] more than half receive salary increases over time."

So if you're looking to refresh your mentorship capabilities, have a look at the handy guide that Mint has put together below.

The most important traits of a good mentor:

  • Positivity
  • Integrity
  • Patience
  • Honesty
  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Respect
  • Leadership
  • Willingness to help
  • Openness to ideas
  • Expertise in their field
  • Capacity for feedback

On the other hand, what are some traits mentors should not have?

  • Negativity
  • Impatience
  • Egocentricity
  • Poor communication
  • Disrespect
  • Lack of trust

The five common types of mentors - which one are you?

Evidently, mentors should not just have quality characteristics, but should also be able to demonstrate them. As each person's capabilities and experience differs, there are five common types of mentors to explore, to find which you might be best at:

The Cheerleader: This type of mentor keeps their mentee motivated to get where they need to go. They boost their mentee’s confidence when they’re discouraged and provide support when they need it. Cheerleaders are great at celebrating successes and picking you up when you lose.

The Companion: Companions are closer to being peer mentors. This mentor style is collaborative and open to giving and receiving feedback. They may even be peer mentors that are at a similar job level.

The Search Engine: If you’re a go-to resource for industry knowledge, you may be a Search Engine. You act as an educator, sharing what you know based on your experience or providing information about current processes or trends.

The Advocate: Your mentee might really value making connections and showcasing their work, and the best type of mentor you could be is an Advocate. These mentors advocate for their mentee’s work ethic and character and leverage their network to open the right doors.

The Master: As the mentor name suggests, Masters are experts at what they do. They can share their mastery with their mentee by teaching them skills and helping them cultivate their own expertise. 

Ways you can make a difference in your mentees' lives

Six ways you can make a difference for your mentee are summarised below, and the full set of 27 ways can be found in detail here

Improve your EQ
Level up your emotional intelligence so it can guide your thoughts and actions.

Seek out feedback
Ask for feedback from your mentee and be open and prepared to act on it.

Champion their growth
Write meaningful recommendations and create opportunities to advance.

Practise active listening
Let your mentee speak freely and listen to understand, not just respond.

Trust their decisions
Give advice when asked, but let them make decisions autonomously.

Try reverse mentoring
Let your mentee teach you about new and current trends or technologies.


Photo / Mint.com

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