Mentoring for Leadership
Part Two
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five


There are six foundational qualities to an effective and productive mentoring relationship. There many sub-qualities that branch off of these foundational qualities and potentially connect the relationship together in other various ways. In looking at the qualities we will in effect define the word mentoring.

Three of these qualities relate directly to the mentor and three of these qualities relate directly to the mentoree. When we looking at these qualities of the mentor in these relationships we must always understand that we are discussing the role of an active mentor. Because of the definition and nature of the passive mentor it would be virtually impossible for the passive mentor to involved in a mentoring relationship holding to these foundational qualities. Let's examine the first of these foundational qualities relating to the active mentor.    


1). A MENTOR must sacrificially give of themselves.

When the mentor is giving of themselves sacrificially in a mentoring relationship, it means that the mentor is investing themselves in the life of the mentoree in a way that goes beyond the level of a typical relationship. This means that extra time, extra effort and extra care are personally extended to the mentoree by the mentor. Ideally, the mentor must be genuinely willing to give of him or herself to the betterment of the mentoree regardless of the personal cost.    


2). A MENTOR should not place time restraints for completion of the mentoring process.

This simply means that the mentor should have obtainable goals to reach with the mentoree without demanding an ultimate deadline for those goals to be reached or completed. It does not mean there shouldn't be any goals or obtainable deadlines. But the mentor should not mandate completion or deadlines based on his or her own expectations. This is where the mentor must exercise good discernment of who easily the mentoree is adapting to the learning and productive processes of the relationship. If the mentoree does not discern these things correctly and act appropriately, the relationship will dissolve.    


3). A MENTOR should desire to see the mentoree be better than their own abilities.

A real mentor desires to produce a better "product" than he or she actually is. This means that the after the mentor invests himself or herself into the mentoree, that the end result after an undetermined period of time will be a better or improved version of the original mentor. Under proper mentorship there should be generational improvement. If the mentor does not believe this to be a possibility or does  not want this to be the potential, it will not happen.


Now let's look at the qualities of a mentoring relationship that should surround the mentoree. These are just as important as those we have just examined that surround the mentor's contribution to the relationship.


1). A MENTOREE should respect the Mentor.

This type of respect is primarily focused on the value of the mentor's history. The mentoree must value how the mentor has obtained the skills and abilities that are being taught and exemplified. The mentor's volume of experience in the discipline is also part of this respect factor. It also generally assists the relationship if there is a personal connection based on the characteristics and traits of the mentor that the mentoree values and appreciates.        


2). A MENTOREE must be teachable.

The simple rule here is that one cannot be instructed or taught in a discipline or arena of study or practice that they have no desire to be taught. There is no such thing as a "forced mentoree". This goes back to the issue of the desire of the mentoree to learn and grow as they are being mentored by the mentor. 


3). A MENTOREE must apply the learning experience to personal practice

Very simply, the mentoree can learn and learn, but unless what is learned is practically applied in the life and world of the mentoree by the mentoree it can all be tallied as a journey in futility. The whole purpose of establishing a mentoring relationship between two individuals is for the mentoree to be a productive asset to the particular discipline, career practice and/or skill.  

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