Mentoring as a Positive Role-Model

mentoring as a positive role-model

This is Part 3 of our 10-part series on the 10 Key Qualities and Habits of a Highly Effective Mentor. Read Part 2 here.

So far in this series, we’ve covered how highly effective mentors:

  • Are human
  • Care about the next generation’s success
  • Are self-aware and enthusiastic

In this post, we’ll discuss why the best mentors set a good example as a positive role-model. Here are some ways they do it.

1. They behave as a positive role model and demonstrate a positive attitude

You can’t beat a positive attitude. A good mentor exhibits the personal attributes it takes to be successful in the field. How so? By showing the mentee what it takes to be productive and successful, an effective mentor demonstrates the specific behaviours and actions required to succeed in the field. Remember, a positive attitude must go both ways; which is why it’s important that you always treat your mentor with the utmost professionalism.

2. They set ​a good example

Often, this is known as “modelling,” or the idea that one individual can thrive by finding inspiration in — and striving to emulate the traits of — a more successful individual. For example, mentoring is being encouraged as a way to help more minorities enter STEM fields.

Mentor Chelsea Cobb, the Senior Partnerships Officer at the University of Melbourne, is a mentor in the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) Mentoring Program, powered by Mentorloop. She recently shared her thoughts on how mentoring contributes to supporting women in her industry:

“I personally think that mentoring is an important component of everyone’s career journey, no matter what gender you are. That being said, I think diversity (whether that be gender, race, age, skills, experience, etc.) is critical to ensure our country remains competitive in a global environment, and believe mentoring women is just one way we can achieve this.”

3. They show patience and tolerance

An effective mentor encourages the exercise that mistakes are a learning opportunity that fosters positive growth. Having been in a similar position, they can often empathise with a variety of similar situations. They allow mentees to make mistakes, and then use the mistakes as positive opportunities to learn. They know that they were once in a similar position, and have empathy for mentees as they take risks and seek to grow in their desired skill or field.

4. They’re respected by colleagues and employees across all departments

Ideally, mentees look up to their mentors and can see themselves filling a mentor’s role in the future. Mentees want to follow someone who is well respected by colleagues and coworkers alike, and whose contribution in the field is appreciated. Ask your mentor(s) about their experiences working with their team, how they navigate sticky situations, and the steps they took to get to where they are today.

5. They understand that role-modelling encourages inclusion

Mentorloop partner Out for Australia (OFA) aims to equip aspiring LGBTQI professionals with information, skills, contacts and role models to make their transition from university into the workplace easier. You can’t be what you can’t see. Sometimes, having a role-model mentor, as many LGBTQI university students or young professionals in the OFA program do, can help them through the early stages of their career as they face uncertainties or anxieties about how their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status may impact their professional careers.

This Can Be You

Having or being this kind of mentor is possible once a mentoring partnership is put in place at your organisation. Who knows, you may already possess the potential to be a great mentor, or someone on your team embodies these characteristics and is just waiting for the opportunity to let them shine! Start building a culture of mentoring at your organisation today, with Mentorloop.

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Em is our Marketing Manager at Mentorloop. That's a lot of 'm's! | She is passionate about crafting messages, crafternoons and craft beer.

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