​On Being Self-Aware and Enthusiastic in Mentoring

On being self-aware and enthusiastic in mentoring

This is Part 2 of our 10-part series on the 10 Key Qualities and Habits of a Highly Effective Mentor. Read Part 1 here.

Now that we know effective mentors are human and invested in the next generation’s success, it’s important to note that the best mentors are self-aware and enthusiastic.

Why? Self-awareness helps mentors see their own blindspots so that they can help their mentees avoid mistakes they themselves made, and a mentor’s enthusiasm can help their mentees become more invested in the mentoring process—and the outcome.

Here are a few ways your mentor may exemplify self-awareness and enthusiasm during your mentoring partnership.

1. They’re engaged with their surroundings

Ever heard someone say, “it’s more than just a job”? These are the people you want to search for. They don’t just work in the industry, they participate. They look beyond their work to other departments, other organisations, and the industry as a whole. They’re not just in it for a paycheck, to punch in every morning and punch out every night, they believe in the organisation’s mission and their role in it. These people are enthusiastic about what they do, and that enthusiasm can be contagious. Seek these people out as a mentor, as they’ll help you find purpose in your work.

2. They see the ‘Big Picture’

Highly effective mentors have a broader perspective of the industry within which their organisation sits. This often helps them bring a new perspective or ‘fresh set of eyes’ to the mentee’s work or challenges ahead, thereby ensuring better feedback is applied to the mentoring relationship. This understanding from the mentor means that they know all the effort put into the mentoring relationship affects more than just the two people in it, it affects the organisation and the industry as a whole. This ability to see the bigger picture of what mentoring can do in the long-run helps mentors better guide their mentees towards success.

3. They show enthusiasm for their chosen professional field

A mentor who does not exhibit enthusiasm for their line of work, generally doesn’t make a good mentor. As we mentioned before, enthusiasm is catching and contagious and new employees want to feel as if their job has meaning and the potential to create a good life. Your mentor has to take a special interest in helping you build and develop your career, and if they aren’t enthusiastic about you and the kind of work you are trying to do, it probably won’t work out.

4. They’re self-aware

Last but not least, a mentor who is self-aware is not married to their ego, delusional about their achievements, or unaware of their weaknesses. The ability to see and acknowledge blindspots allows mentors to be able to shine a light on those of their mentees. Many times, we aren’t aware of our own shortcomings, so having someone who helps us see them is invaluable. What’s more, a mentor’s ability to be self-aware and vulnerable will provide mentees with a unique opportunity to adopt these traits for themselves!

Does Your Organisation Have a Mentoring Program in Place?

Does having these types of players on your team sound like something you’re interested in? You might already have hired them! Implementing a mentoring program at your organisation can help tease out these effective players and turn them into mentors that grow your business from the inside out.

Start building a culture of mentoring at your organisation with Mentorloop.

Chat to a mentoring specialist

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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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