6 Skills you need to be a great mentor

A mentor is a person who has the knowledge and experience to guide someone while pursuing a career. In today’s business world, more companies are introducing internal mentorship programs to aid employees in achieving career successes. 

You can be a mentor to an employee or someone interested in learning more from your experience. But to be a great mentor, you will need to master specific skills. These so-called “mentorship skills” are essential for becoming a more effective mentor. But what are the crucial skills for becoming a great mentor? We will tell you all about that in this article.

So with all that said, let’s begin.

Leadership Skills

You cannot be a great mentor if you aren’t a great leader. Leadership skills are essential for establishing your authority, and they’re essential for the development of your mentee. 

By being a leader in the workplace, you earn the respect of your mentees and thus make it easier to communicate with them. In addition, great leaders command respect and motivate their employees to achieve the goals and objectives you’ve set for them. 

Leadership skills aren’t mentor-specific skills, but they are essential for any mentor.

Listening Skills

Anyone looking to become a great mentor should work on becoming a better listener. Listening skills are essential for developing your mentee as they will help you give your mentee the undivided attention they need. 

They’re part of the broader “communication skills” umbrella and will help you understand what your mentee is saying to you. Considering you will be offering plenty of feedback and guidance to your mentee, having the ability to understand what your mentee is saying will make you better at your job.

Empathic Skills

A mentor will turn to different guidance methods to help develop their mentee. But understanding what works and what doesn’t is crucial for their development. That’s where having empathic skills comes in handy. Empathic skills will help you understand the emotions of your mentee and what they’re going through. In addition, being an empath requires high emotional intelligence. 

With the help of empathic skills, you will quickly strengthen the bond between mentor and mentee and build trust. It will also help you identify the correct advice and feedback based on the mentee’s behaviors and abilities.

Organizational Skills

A mentor has many responsibilities. One of your responsibilities as a mentor is to organize and manage your mentees. This means setting goals and tasks, creating deadlines, and keeping up with your mentee’s progress. 

As one might imagine, doing all this requires a fair amount of organization. But, with the help of organizational skills, you develop habits that save time and uncover techniques that make your job easier. In addition, being an excellent organizer will ensure you always have the right approach when developing goal-oriented strategies for your mentee. 

Conflict Management and Resolution Skills

It’s safe to say that you and the mentee will encounter many conflicts and obstacles throughout the mentorship. Considering you’re the professional and they’re the learner, managing and resolving conflicts is your responsibility. 

A mentor guides their mentee whenever they hit a halt in their development. Having the ability to address each conflict and tackle it successfully is a skill that will benefit you greatly. Conflict management and resolution skills nicely align with empathy since you will need to understand their emotions whenever overcoming a potential obstacle. 

You need to know what works and provide a fresh perspective to overcome the challenge and find a solution for quickly resolving the issue.

Self-Management Skills

Your job as a mentor isn’t solely mentee-orientated. Instead, your job is to manage yourself throughout the mentorship to better aid their development. Self-management skills are a combination of behaviors, attitudes, emotions, and the ability to manage all three. 

Your self-management skills will be tested whenever you encounter specific issues that misalign with your mentee’s views. If you have a different opinion on a specific issue, it’s your job to respond and find a solution that works best given the circumstances.

In addition, you will need to learn to prioritize your mentee’s development. For example, prioritize your responsibilities as a mentor by regularly attending meetings with your mentee instead of putting more time into online networking

Lastly, self-management skills will help ensure your mentee hits the deadlines for your goals. 

Why Having Mentorship Skills is Important?

These six skills are essential for any mentor in any industry. But it’s safe to assume that a great mentor will possess even more mentorship-orientated skills that aid their mentee’s development. So why is having these skills so important? 

Considering the vital role of a mentor in the professional development of their mentees, we can conclude that these skills are vital for guiding the mentee to the finish line. 

These skills directly impact our ability to listen and give feedback, manage the mentee, resolve conflicts and obstacles, and having the ability to understand the mentee’s emotions in certain situations. Uncovering the mentee’s strengths and weaknesses and developing goal-orientated strategies and techniques is more difficult without these skills.


Being a mentor can be highly rewarding as everyone knows that a mentorship relationship is symbiotic. So in a sense, you gain equally much as the mentee and benefit the same way the mentee does.

But the difference between a mentor and a great mentor can be success and failure. Great mentors empower their mentees and encourage them to strive for new heights. They provide feedback and guidance in crucial situations and gain a life-long friend to turn to for future references. 

So work on developing these six skills as they can be the difference between being a good mentor and a great mentor. 

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Erik Bergman

Erik Bergman

Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100% of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.

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