After many conversations about mentor leadership, I now recognize informal mentor relationships that have helped me along the way. Mentor leaders have helped me personally and professionally. Many of us have been mentees – now it may be, time for us, to be mentors. Who can be a mentor leader?

Sometimes, the best mentees turn out to be the best mentors. There are many characteristics of effective mentors you need to consider.

Are you committed to assisting in others’ growth and development?

Are you willing to share your expertise that has taken years to develop and introduce your mentee to relationships you have nurtured for a lifetime?

Have you acquired content knowledge and insight about the organization’s norms and expectations, and fully understand the organization’s culture, and can explain it in a way that benefits all?

Over time, have you focused on developing your emotional intelligence and communication skills to the point that you can be sensitive to the emotions and feelings of others? Because as a mentor, your responsibility is to provide guidance, through feedback, that is accurate, yet kind.

And I know you are a busy person, so do you have the time to invest in a mentoring relationship? Your mentee will be counting on you to be accessible, whether face-to face, by phone, or at least online.

These are questions and characteristics you need to consider.

Continue to develop mentor leadership skills. Get involved in a formal mentor leadership relationship and polish the right skills.

Mentor leadership is a commitment. Both the mentee and the mentor leader need to be determined to invest the time and energy, and committed with respect for and responsibility for the process. Mentor leadership activities, should not be taken lightly, by the mentee, or the mentor.

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