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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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