Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

6 Characteristics the Best Mentors Have in Common

ARCHIVES
Image via Monkik/Shutterstock.com

If your career is a vehicle, then great mentors are your GPS. Mentors help you locate your destination and determine the most efficient route. They help you steer clear of danger and develop the confidence to embark on the journey. They show you how to enjoy the ride and navigate uncharted territory—all the while helpfully getting you back on track when you lose your way.

But where, you’re probably asking, do I find a “great mentor?” Great mentors are everywhere and in most every organization. Below are a few ways to test if you’ve found one of the good ones. The best mentors, those most able to guide you on your journey, posses the six characteristics below:

1st Characteristic: Admirable

Purpose: Help you locate your destination and chart a route.

Test: Do you admire this person and his/her work? Does his/her career align with your interests?

2nd Characteristic: Reflective

Purpose: Help you determine the most efficient route and steer clear of danger.

Test: Has this person reflected on and examined how his or her career has unfolded? Can they enhance your level of self-awareness through their own?

3rd Characteristic: Respectful

Purpose: Help you develop the confidence to embark on this journey and persevere.  

Test: Do you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, questions, and fears, or do you feel like the person will judge every word you say?

4th Characteristic: Connected

Purpose: Help you become acquainted with E-ZPass.

Test: Has this person spent time cultivating relationships in his or her field of work?

5th Characteristic: Relatable

Purpose: Help you enjoy the ride and refuel.

Test: Do you share an interest in the general career space you’re focused on? Do you feel reenergized after talking with them?

6th Characteristic: Rational

Purpose: Help you navigate uncharted territory and recalibrate.

Test: Is this person a critical thinker? Do they look at things from multiple perspectives? Do they leave open the possibility of there being various paths to success? Do they ask probing questions to help you think through what you’re considering?

These are the six qualities I’ve found great mentors possess—what characteristics do you look for in a mentor? 

Image via Monkik/Shutterstock.com

Sam Nayman has a passion for organizational and personal transformation. He currently pursues this passion as a Leadership, Team, and Organizational Excellence Analyst. Prior to this role, Sam worked with Third Sector Capital Partners, which arranges Social Impact Bonds, an innovative social sector performance-based contract that brings together government, nonprofits, and philanthropists. He prepared himself for these jobs as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and as a Social Policy major at Northwestern University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.