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How to be an amazing mentor

Take a moment to think about the best mentor you’ve ever had. It doesn’t have to be your old school teacher or manager.

How to be an amazing mentor

girl wearing rucksack walking

Take a moment to think about the best mentor you've ever had.

It doesn’t have to be your old school teacher or manager – mentors come in all shapes and sizes. It could be a friend, parent, sports coach, lecturer, colleague – basically anyone whose support has really made a difference in your life.

Now picture yourself as a mentor. How do you measure up? What can you do to make sure you become an amazing mentor?

With the upcoming changes to apprenticeship delivery, there is a shift of focus from assessment to mentoring and training – and the role of the assessor is likely to morph into that of a tutor or coach. To help you prepare for the changes, we've taken a look at what it means to be a mentor and the steps you can take to become be an amazing one.

What does it mean to be a mentor? 

Being a mentor is all about supporting someone when they need a helping hand. You may be supporting someone at work or a mentoring an apprentice, but it's important you always keep the other person's best interests in mind.

5 ways to be an incredible mentor:

1. Adjust your approach

When it comes to mentoring, a one-size-fits all approach just won't do. You need to be fair to everyone, but also adapt your approach to suit the individual. Everyone is unique, learns in different ways and takes criticism differently, so get to know your mentee and adjust your style accordingly.

2. Be personal

To be the best mentor you can possibly be, you need to get to know your mentee on a personal level. By building a strong relationship that goes beyond pleasantries, you'll know enough about them to give the best advice for them.

3. Ask questions

We can all be a little shy at times – especially when we're asking for help. So instead of telling your mentee what to do, ask them about their situation so you can get the bigger picture. By answering your questions, they may even be able to find a solution themselves.

4. Be positive 

As a mentor, you have the opportunity to make a big difference in someone's life, so having a positive attitude is crucial. Instead of dwelling on their mistakes, highlight things they have done well and celebrate their achievements. It will help build their confidence, motivation and focus.

5. Lead by example

To be an outstanding mentor, you need to practice what you preach. Your mentees will look to you for support, and copy your behaviours, reactions, values and attitudes as they grow. It's a huge responsibility, but if you get it right you could be one of the mentors that are remembered forever.

Being a mentor is an incredible opportunity – but the role comes with a lot of responsibility too.

To monitor your mentor skills and make sure you're the best mentor you can possibly be, download our self-assessment survey to help you identify any areas of improvement.

Download survey

You can work with your mentee to grow your skills together, or use the survey as a form of self-reflection - whichever is best for you!

This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.