What are the abilities and aptitude of a mentor?

-Taken from the book, Mentoring 2.0 by Sunil Unny Guptan

Mentors don’t come pre-packaged with all the necessary skills, competencies and orientation to guarantee success. They have to work at most of them and garner them over the years. Each new ability or attempt at refurbishing the old is a seed planted within. With a small element of luck and perseverance over the years, some of them germinate and take root within the mentor. But overall, there is substantial effort to be invested to perfect the skills, aptitude and abilities.

Mentors have their own unique combination of attributes and qualities, orientation and outlook, competencies and proficiencies, and skills that stand out to make them who they are. It is not that they need all of these to work their magic, but very often successful mentors appear to have an abundance of most, if not all of these. Also, having a shortfall in one or a few does not preclude anyone from becoming mentors with a degree of success, but aspiring to log a high enough compliment in most will be a significant booster in the practice of mentoring.


Attributes and qualities:
1. Altruism
2. High general intelligence
3. Focused approach and goal clarity
4. Non-judgemental with others
5. Boundless tolerance and patience
6. Emotional stability and higher emotional quotient (EQ)

Orientation and outlook:
7. Investment in learning and development (L&D)
8. A clear notion of self
9. Success orientation
10. Seeking ‘freedom of anonymity’
11. Life in the shadows of someone lesser than herself
12. Safe-keeper of confidences

Competencies and proficiencies:
13. Broader horizon
14. A wide swath of general awareness
15. Heightened self-awareness
16. Technical expertise in the chosen field

Skills:
17. Communication skills
18. Empathy and sensitivity
19. Relationship skills
20. Conceptualization skills

All these, in a required measure, go in to make the mentor morph from good to great. Of these, the individual may have a core depth greater in a few or more than what others may, but not having one or more of these at all may leave the mentee feeling a trifle inadequate in the process.



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