Scope and Limitations
Deals with organisational, career, or personal transitions and the passing on of a specific set of technical or networking skills. Through the use of personal experience and insight the Mentor's role is to ensure that the mentee acquires the appropriate skills and insight. Individual growth and the gaining of further personal insights and responsibilities may fall outside of the scope of the Mentorship intervention unless specifically demanded.
Key Skills that Mentors should have
As a Mentor, the critical competencies of having a mix of real-world business experience and personal characteristics, include:
Appropriate business experience
For the relationship to work, the Mentor should ideally be able to provide appropriate guidance. The Mentor should be highly familiar with the corporate world in which they and the employee exist.
The Mentor must be adept at handling all sorts of complex, touchy interpersonal dynamics, sizing up a situation quickly, and dealing with a variety of personalities. Good listening skills are also critical.
Mentoring often involves discussing not only sensitive personal issues, but also high-level, strategic, confidential information. Honesty and the ability not to betray a confidence are essential.
To be effective, employees often have to navigate the tricky political waters of their organisation. A competent Mentor must be experienced enough to have the appropriate insight in this regard.
Flexibility and creativity
In any assignment the road ahead is never clear and this calls for the ability to be flexible, able to discard ideas when they seem ineffective, and come up with new ones, fast. At the same time, the Mentor should be comfortable with ambiguity, fast change, and lots of uncertainty.
Ultimately Mentoring is all about achieving real, bottom-line results. The Mentor has to be able to confront tough issues, hold people accountable, and demand tangible outcomes in any assignment.