The more that businesses start looking into mentoring and the advantages that it offers, the more that they are going to want to focus on the characteristics of a mentor. In order to develop a mentoring program, it’s important that you are bringing the right people on board to get the program started.

Not everyone can be a great mentor, after all. The most successful mentors are going to be those people who want to share their experiences, their knowledge, the skills and the solutions that they’ve discovered for common issues that come up on the job. Those who are going to be fantastic with being a mentor will have an innate understanding that sharing what they know with a new hire puts them in a position of power rather than someone who has the sense that knowledge is power.

In order for someone to be a great mentor, he or she needs to be comfortable with the work that they are doing. A great mentor sees himself or herself as a part of a team, and is consistently committed to making a difference, to being dependable and reliable - especially when that means that it’s a good idea to consider another way of doing things, a method that might be more logical or intuitive. In other words, mentors need to be willing to do more than just teach their experiences, they must be willing to learn from others around them - including their mentees.

While mentors lead by example, not every leader is a mentor. Some of the best leaders lead by instructing others, by engaging those who follow them and by expecting others to simply embrace their way of doing things. Great mentors, on the other hand, lead by showing that there’s always more to be learned. Mentors lead from within their team not from outside of it.

Of course, mentoring programs do foster an environment in which others can become mentors. Some of the best mentoring training comes simply from being mentored and recognizing the benefits of mentoring programs. By working with a great mentor who is inspiring, reliable and consistent, those who are looking to develop mentoring skills will be able to get a sense of whether or not they’re interested in becoming a mentor and what they may need to work on in themselves to become better at their jobs, more effective in their lives and to, in time, grow to mentor others.

The most important characteristic that mentors share is the willingness to lead by example and to focus on the ways in which differences will make the company stronger. Some of the best mentors are going to find that those who they have mentored move beyond them in the company or become better at the job than the mentor himself or herself. There is a strength that is a part of being a mentor that not everyone has; however, developing those strengths is something that will benefit the mentor, the mentee and the organization overall.

Copyright, Cecile Peterkin. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin, a Certified Career Coach, Corporate Mentor and Speaker, helps businesses leverage the mind-share of retiring Baby Boomers and senior managers, and transfer it to the next generation of leaders with her ProMentoring program. The program enables rising leaders to garner first hand business knowledge and expertise through the development of a rewarding one-on-one relationship. For more information visit