Qualities of an Inspiring
Mentors hold and create a space
of possibility. Mentors help us to evolve our selves as human
beings so that we may move into that possibility.
1. Mutual Respect
The mentor and the learner share a deep respect for the common
pursuit as well as for the underlying values driving the pursuit.
It is the shared respect that connects and provides the foundation
for the work the mentor and the learner will do together.
When a deep level of
trust exists between the mentor and the learner, the individual
is able to take great risks they might not have taken
without the trust. The mutual trust between mentor and learner
provides a safe space for the latter to step out in faith and
achieve what might appear difficult, impossible, or overwhelming.
The trust the mentor provides as part of the framework is fundamental
for the learning experience to occur.
3. Mentor as a Conduit
A mentor provides access
to learning and growth. It is through the mentor relationship
that deep learning occurs. The mentor provides a framework for
exploration by creating a context that provides support, encouragement,
4. Space, learning and integration
A mentor creates a space
for listening and for helping the person to integrate the learning
into their lives. A mentor becomes an "inner voice"; we borrow the mentor for this guiding voice while we search
to find and express our own voice.
5. Safe Space
is a key ingredient for establishing trust and a safe space.
When one experiences unconditional acceptance and a sense of
belonging, one is able to more clearly reveal and be themselves.
Accepting others for who they are, without apology or explanation,
is therefore an essential aspect of mentoring. With total acceptance,
one feels trusted and known, and is able to take great risks.
In a safe space, nothing is taboo.
A mentor holds a vision of what's possible, and leads the way
to the vision. A mentor believes in the vision as much as the
7. Shared Experience
A mentor relationship
is rich with learning through shared experiences. The learning's
not just academic and has a vibrancy and depth that goes beyond
reflective discussion. The mentor has discussions in "real
time" - the interaction and the learnings aren't just academic.
They are deep and real.
The mentor challenges
and stretches the person, and provides inspiration for the person
to take on even greater challenges. A mentor stretches a person
A mentor "walks
the talk" and provides inspiration through their very being.
A mentor is someone who we aspire to become; the mentor has qualities/skills
we want for our selves. The mentor helps us to see possibility
by bringing to life the qualities we aspire for our selves.
10. Sage Advice
A mentor will offer sage
advice, will show the learner "the ropes" and will
invest time and energy in the development of the individual.
The more open the learner is to accessing this wisdom, the more
profound the discoveries will be!
Jan Gordon, LCSW is an Executive and Personal Coach who finds great joy in helping her clients achieve outstanding results! Ms. Gordon provides coaching to individuals and teams who are dedicated to enhancing their personal power and sense of fulfilment. Her coaching embraces the concept that challenge provides opportunity. Visit her website at: www.qualitycoaching.com. Jan can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 by
Jan Gordon. All Rights Reserved. This content may be forwarded only in full, with copyright/bio/contact/creation information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Jan Gordon is required.