Business Mentoring Matters

Three Key Skills of an Executive Mentor

Posted on Mon, Mar, 11, 2013

Beyond creating a trusting relationship with the mentoree, there are three key skills an Executive Mentor should have.

1. Communicating instead of lecturing.  Yes, executive mentors typically have a lot of experience and knowledge to share, but it should be done based upon the mentoree's expressed need. If a mentor is doing more speaking than the mentoree during meetings, then s/he is really not communicating.

2. Facilitating instead of managing. Since executive mentors make decisions and solve problems all day long, it becomes too easy to begin to manage the mentoree instead of facilitating his/her development. When a mentor always provides the answers or takes the initiative to solve a problem instead of allowing the mentoree the opportunity to do so for themselves, then the mentor is managing instead of facilitating.

3. Transforming instead of cloning.  What worked for the executive mentor in a given situation may not necessarily work for the mentoree--even if provided with the same tools and techniques. Instead of suggesting that a mentoree use what worked for the mentor, the mentor should begin by asking the mentoree what solution or ideas they may have.  This invites the mentoree to actively participate in his/her development and allows that person the opportunity to grow and be transformed by the mentoring experience.  

So next time you meet with your mentoree, ask yourself, am I communicating, facilitating, and transforming?

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Tags: Mentors & Mentorees, Talent Development and Retention