This is Part 7 of our 10-part series on the 10 Key Qualities and Habits of a Highly Effective Mentor. Read Part 6 here.
Up to this point in our series, we’ve learned that the most effective mentors:
- Are human
- Care about the next generation’s success
- Are self-aware and enthusiastic
- Are positive role-models
- Are intentional with their mentoring time
- Share experience, rather than purely advice
- Aren’t afraid to be uncomfortable
In this instalment, we’ll dive into how the best mentors are life-long learners. This nicely ties into our last post, as these mentors are committed to being forever students, always curious and ready to learn and grow in new ways. Let’s take a look at how this shows up in everyday life and how it might look in your own mentoring partnership.
Quality 7: They’re life-long learners
1. They’re dedicated to their own success
We’re not suggesting that these mentors are dedicated to their own success and theirs alone, but rather that these individuals take pride in their work, want to grow, and truly care about their career trajectories. This trait is an asset because these mentors have high expectations for themselves, and therefore for others.
It follows that people who are dedicated to their own career success will want to make the most out of their involvement in a mentoring program. Ultimately, the most effective mentors and mentees are those who are dedicated to putting in the work to make their mentoring relationship work.
2. They value ongoing learning and growth in their field
No matter your experience level, or how many years you have under your belt, there will always be new things to learn.
Great mentors are open and committed to continuous learning regardless of where they’re at in their career – whether it be learning a new piece of technology or methodology and/or refining soft skills like presenting to an audience.
In fact, the best mentors recognise that they don’t know it all.
Mentors are in a position to illustrate how their field is growing and changing and that, even after many years in the industry, there are still new things to learn. Anyone who feels stagnant in their current position will not make a good mentor. That’s because when someone is starting out in a new career, they want to feel that the time and energy they spend learning will be rewarded and ultimately provide them with career satisfaction. Good mentors are committed and open to experimenting and learning practices that are new to the field.
These mentors often read a lot, whether it be journal articles, audiobooks, or podcasts. Some may even contribute to subjects where they have developed some expertise and write their own articles. These are the mentors who are excited to share their knowledge with new people entering the field and take their roles seriously when imparting that knowledge to others.
These individuals may also choose to share knowledge in team presentations or attend classes to further develop their knowledge and skills. They enjoy taking workshops and attending professional conferences provided through their membership in professional associations.
Finding a mentor who is committed to such continuous learning is important. You want someone who truly believes in the power of professional development, regardless of where they’re at in their career.
3. They set and achieve ongoing personal and professional goals
Good mentors continually set a good example by showing how their habits are reflected by achieving personal and professional goals and ultimately enjoying career success.
That being said, your mentor is busy, and you have to respect that. They aren’t always going to be able to drop everything to speak with you. Make sure you don’t abuse the relationship–pick and choose what you bring to your mentor so that they still have the time they need to dedicate to themselves and their own development.
Mentorloop can help you find these all-stars–they’re most likely already on your team! If you’re interested in building a mentoring program at your organisation, start by sharing this series with your HR team.
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