No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Qualities of A Professional Business Mentor


A successful mentor will need to need to ‘have’ or to ‘be’ the following

1. Trustworthy

For mentors to be effective they must be trusted. Without trust there can be only limited scope for exploration of the mentee’s situation. Establishing trustworthiness is the first requirement of the mentor in establishing the relationship. The starting place is the trust that everything ever discussed will be kept totally confidential.

2. Credible

Credibility is essential if the relationship is to progress. This is about being accepted for who you are, what you stand for and also to have demonstrated competence in the field of business. It is measured only by the mentee. If he or she does not see the mentor as credible to them, then they are not credible- no matter what other qualities they have.

3. Empathy

The ability to put yourself in the other person’s situation in order to gain understanding is needed if you are to generate a strong working relationship. This is not the same as agreeing with the other person’s position. Indeed there will often be value in being able to disagree.

4. Life Experience

What you have experienced in life defines a lot about who you are. Having worked in more than one business field/geography/culture is very useful. There should also be first hand experience of ‘failure’ and of knowing what is needed to overcome this is to create success.

5. A Communicator

Listening and the capability of gathering information is essential. You also need to be able to process this information and do something with it. The mentor is a sounding board as well as a listening post so being able to feedback in a quality way is a definite requirement.

6. Directness

There will be times when you need to ‘cut to the quick’ and be direct with the mentee without losing rapport or trust. Being able to see what is needed and to get to the point quickly and effectively is of great value. So is saying what no one else may be prepared to say if that is what the mentee needs to move forward.

7. A Story Teller

People respond well to stories as they learn. This is not about telling ‘War Stories’ but personal descriptions of events that are relevant to the situation and which move forward.

8. Practical

Theories are interesting but what marks out a successful mentor is the ability to give practical advice when it’s needed.

9. Enjoyment of life

Life is more than work so demonstrating your enjoyment of both is essential. No one wants a boring mentor.

10. Business Understanding

You need to know what business is about today and have some sense of where it might go in the future.

11. Honesty

At all times, a mentor must be 100% honest. Sometimes and done in the right way there is a need to be “cruel to be kind”. To say what needs saying when all others would let sleeping dogs lie.

12. Integrity

To never have a conflict of interest, hidden agenda, vested interest, axe to grind inside or outside the mentor/mentee relationship

13. Openness/Vulnerability

The willingness and ability on an as needed basis to be vulnerable and ruthlessly honest about oneself. Disarming honesty shows vulnerability and leadership.

14. Sensitivity

All long term interpersonal relationships that go below the surface require sensitivity and care

15. Values Driven.

Even though they may be different to those of the mentee, the values of the mentor will influence his mentoring style and it is important that the mentee knows and understands and feels comfortable with the core values of the mentor.

16. Emotionally Intelligent/Intuitive/Instinctive

David Carter


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!