Every mentor wants to be a Great Mentor – they want the personal benefits of a job well done, the joy of watching their protégées succeed, and the sense of connection with someone who shares their values and goals. Organizations want Great Mentors to improve their management bench strength, achieve strategic goals faster and transfer skills and knowledge in an effective way.
A week ago, Bob Gibson, President of Mentor Resources, posted a blog on the Six Attributes of a Great Mentor:
- Good Listener
- Realistic Expectations
- Follow Through on both Conversations and Deliverables
- Kept Confidentiality
- Took an Interest – both in Career and Personal Life
- Available to the Mentee
What is interesting about his list is that these 6 attributes of a Great Mentor were recurrent themes from training mentors and managers in hundreds of companies throughout the US and Canada.
As individuals, we might look at the list of attributes and think “That makes sense.”
But as managers, the key question is “How effective in a mentor program in meeting our corporate or strategic goals?”
Bob’s list of Attributes of a Great Mentor feels warm and fuzzy and managers may worry that the Mentor Program is not bottom-line oriented - merely making people feel good. We need to step back and remember that we are talking about people. The skill transfer, the knowledge management, the accomplishments and achievement of goals is directly tied to specific and measurable objectives - These are accomplished by individuals. And those individual employees are motivated by their relationships: Their connections to the firm (engagement), with their managers and colleagues (loyalty) and, yes, their mentors or mentees.
It is well documented that if the mentor program participants feel good about participating in the mentor program - the firm will see improved retention, greater absorption of traditional training, stronger leadership skills, and higher engagement and loyalty levels. Studies have shown that these improvements occur on both sides of the table - both Mentor and Mentee report improvements in learning and understanding of others around them.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Mentor Resources’ WisdomShare is the personality matching algorithm. This causes a strong and friendly connection between the Mentor and Mentee (in contrast to the blind date feel that our competitors are known for.)
After Bob Gibson’s 15 years of teaching Mentor Training, and Kim Wise’s 20+ years of working with corporate Mentor Program Administrators to improve and enhance formal mentor programs, both became convinced that the mentor-mentee match was one of the two critical keys to a program’s success. If the Mentor and Mentee clicked, there was a significant increase in the likelihood of the mentor demonstrating the Six Attributes of a Great Mentor.
The net result of remembering the human aspect of employees and how they connect, is better organizational results and goal achievement. If you want more information, consider signing up for either a no-obligation webinar or a free hour of consultation.