Center for Mentoring Excellence

Mentoring Matters

Summer 2015
Volume 6 | Issue 6
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How do you measure up?
1.Use the "Top 50" list to benchmark your current mentoring practices
2.Identify three areas for improvement and growth
3.Develop your plan

Identify measures of success 

5.Execute your plan
6.Celebrate success!

A Clear Message To Mentors About the Importance of Listening
In a recent survey conducted through our Center for Mentoring Excellence, listening emerged as the top mentoring best practice. Readers of our monthly e-letter, Mentoring Matters, also identified listening as the #1 attribute of a good mentor.

A Note to Our Readers:

We believe that leaders cannot be effective without a strong and ongoing commitment to mentoring excellence. This belief, our passion for mentoring excellence, and our extensive experience in the field with organizations led us to create the Center for Mentoring Excellence. 


At our virtual center,, you will find mentoring tools and resources, expert advice and a forum for sharing best mentoring practices. We hope that you will visit us there and let us know how we can continue to help you raise the bar on mentoring in your organization.

We polled our e-letter subscribers and asked them to complete the sentence stem, "All Mentors Should....Here's a list of 50 of the items they came up with. It was no surprise that, once again, listening floated to the top of the list.

1.Listen more than they talk
2.Listen without judging
3.Learn to listen well

Actively listen to their mentees before providing guidance

5.Work to improve the abilities of those they mentor
6.Come prepared to each meeting

Continuously look for new learning and ways to support the mentee 

8.Allow the mentee to find their own way
9.Be sounding boards and thinking partners
10.Really care about the development of people

11.Take an interest in the mentee's whole self
12.Truly believe in their mentee's potential and encourage them to reach it
13.Read Ken Blanchard's book The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do
14.Be approachable

Be emotionally intelligent

16.Focus on the mentee being their number one customer and treat them that way
17.Practice what they preach

Want to be a mentor

19.Be open-minded
20.Be committed and sincerely want to help others succeed

21.Be attentive to the ideas and the language of emotional expression of their mentees 
22.Be open to feedback and challenge
23.Be prepared to ask the 'difficult question' of their mentees

Have goals and expectations for what they want to achieve with mentoring 

25.See the mentee for who she is and where she wants to go
26.Share their experience and expertise without trying to force the mentee into their mold

Treat the relationship as the gift it is 

28.Be ready and open to learning
29.Remember what it was like when they were learning the ropes
30.Be courageous, kind and reflective
31.Make the effort to see life through the eyes of their mentee and anticipate challenges
32.Move beyond supporting their mentees, to challenging them to stretch beyond their comfort zones
33.Be willing to share the lessons learned from their experience

Have a good understanding of themselves 

35.Be able to read the nonverbal language of the mentee
36.Promote a climate that is honest and open for both parties to share their feelings freely without fear of retribution

Do good

38.Be ethical and trustworthy 
39.Admit limitations 
40.Care about the individual they are mentoring -- not just a skill transfer but make a human connection

41.Go through some training and education to help them prepare for being a mentor
42.Have a mentor
43.Have been a mentee

Have the best interest of the mentee and the business in mind to support the growth and development of the mentee to better contribute to and navigate through the business 

45.Show empathy
46.Establish a relationship with the mentee 

Keep his/her promise 

48.Stay focused on building the relationship and achieving mentee learning goals
49.Create the expectation of feedback
50.Reflect on their mentoring practices to identify areas for improvement and growth