What does the word “mentor” mean?
If you have attended school, played a sport, or were involved in any type of activities that involved a group of people, you have likely heard of the term “mentor.” What does the word “mentor” mean? A mentor is someone who can support, advise and guide you.
Typically, this person takes the time to get to know you, understand the challenges you are facing and uses their personal experience and knowledge to help you improve.
Relationships with mentors are very unique and can differ from person to person. While mentors have the potential to become lifelong friends, the relationship might only last until you’ve achieved a goal.
To help understand the relationship between a mentor and mentee better, let’s break down what a mentor is and what a mentor is not.
What a mentor is…
- …someone who helps and guides another person to support their personal development
- …someone helps you improve your confidence, self-awareness, or similar challenge. This goes far beyond issues at school or work.
- …an individual who helps you grow as a person and become the best version of yourself.
What a mentor is not…
- …a therapist. While a mentor can provide invaluable support and guidance across a range of topics including mental health, they are not a licensed mental health professionals. If you need support specifically for mental health symptoms, we recommend seeking guidance and assistance from a licensed counselor or therapist.
- …the same as a coach. Coaches are paid for and provide time-bound teaching on specific topics.
- …a magic cure. While mentoring can support a range of development goals and has many benefits for both people, there is a good chance it will not fix everything.
- … bound by age. Mentoring has no age requirements and older people can benefit from being mentored by younger people. What is most important is the chemistry between both parties and mutual respect.
Bob Proctor once stated, “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”
These individuals can be very powerful forces in your life and can have a lasting impact. To help determine a good mentor from a not so good one, you might ask yourself about the characteristics that make a good mentor.
What qualities make a good mentor?
- Being a good listener
- Having patience
- Being non-judgemental
- Asking good questions
- Showing empathy
- Being trustworthy
- Being encouraging and supportive
- Giving timely and honest feedback
- Having clear verbal and nonverbal communication skills
A mentor is someone who can support, advise and guide you.
While you may feel a strong connection to your mentor, there is a good chance that you may have several throughout your life and career. While a lifelong friendship may arise from this type of relationship, it is not abnormal for a mentor/mentee relationship to end.
You may meet your mentors in different ways and different times of your life. Your mentor may have similar experiences or vastly different ones than you, they can be younger or older than you, and have similar interests or opposite ones from you. In the end, all mentors share the same goal: to help you grow as a person and become the best version of yourself!