What Makes A Good Mentor?

Originally posted on GovLoop 

Mentors often provide valuable insights and institutional knowledge about an organization to a younger workforce. By working with a mentor, new employees are given new perspectives on organizational issues and are provided the opportunity to grow professionally and learn from their mentors experiences.

What makes a good mentor? At all the places I have worked, the mentor-mentee relationship has been mainly informal. This structure has its benefits, along with some challenges. It’s more of a personal preference than anything. Some people prefer a formal structure, while others, such as myself, would prefer a more organic process of finding your mentor.

There are also countless examples of fantastic mentoring programs in which people opt into a mentorship agreement – these programs are largely successful because those opting in are passionate about taking a mentee, and those seeking a mentor are equally as motivated. We have had enormous success with our mentorship program here at GovLoop.

Whether you are opting in or in an informal mentor relationship, here are the qualities that I look for in a mentor:

– Provide Constructive Feedback (positive & negative)
– Supportive of my projects/work
– Makes Time for Me
– Pays close attention to my professional development
– Creates new opportunities in career
– Allows me to make connections/build network professionally
– Knows my strengths and weaknesses, sets me up for success
– Leads by example
– High level knowledge on organization and field they work in
– Connect on a personal level

Developing a mentor-mentee relationship has many benefits. By becoming a mentor, you help employees advance their career and allow them to tap into your institutional knowledge, as a mentee you are given a unique chance to learn from experiences and incorporate them into your own professional development.


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