Good mentors are patient, active listeners with great social skills and a sound understanding of the field, industry or organisation they are offering support for. A desire to engage with others on an interpersonal level is essential, as you’ll be sharing lived and learned experiences on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis.
As a mentor, you’re acting as a leader and role model who lifts others up and strives to help them succeed. Often, mentees will need scaffolding in areas beyond academia – such as confidence building or the nuances of English conversation – so it is important that a mentor’s communication and diplomacy skills are finely tuned in order to create safe spaces in which growth can be facilitated. In setting a positive example, mentors should also show that they are motivated.
When making decisions, a good mentor is guided by not just by common sense, but also a strong set of ethics, empathy and complete lack of prejudice. We expect our mentors to be open-minded, honest and trustworthy, demonstrating integrity and self-awareness at all times.
If you’re looking to become a mentor, reflect on what you’re hoping to get out of the experience, as it can be just as rewarding for you as it is for the mentee! This means that you too should be willing to learn and will need to be open to being held accountable for your actions.