Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Skill Sets for Mentors

Mentoring continues to be an essential element for many talent management programs across industies. Lower in cost than many other learning intiatives, mentoring programs can provide powerful opportunities for junior employees to learn from those that have gone before.

This year, I have been involved in providing coaching support to a number of mentoring programs across industies and often get asked, "What type of skills are useful for mentors to have?"

Think about any opportunities you have had to be mentored, or provide mentoring. Some of the core skills I see as essential for great mentors include:

1.Listening - Mentors are often seen as a sounding board for proteges/those being mentored. How effective are you being at listening to your protege and what they are looking for from your relationship.

2.Feedback - Proteges are often very eager in learning what has worked/what hasn't from mentors. As such, mentors are often called upon to provide feedback/insights in terms of industry trends, what's worked/what hasn't in their career, professional development options - - to name a few.

3.Creating Powerful Questions : Powerful Questions rarely start with WHY? They are open ended and often start with WHAT?

4.Coaching: Creating opportunities for Accountability, Acknowledging your protege, and Encouraging them towards their goals

5. Relationship Building: The mentor/protege relationship can be a very powerful one and often requires intentional design. How much attention have you put towards your mentoring relationship?

What do you see as essential skills for mentors? Feel free to comment below.


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Potentials Realized
Coaching, Training and Consulting Services
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at} potentialsrealized.com

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