• Tiffany Yarde

What Makes A Good Mentor

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

An important part of success is to remember to reach back and lift others as you climb. As you accumulate years of experience and tried and true strategies for success, why not consider sharing this wealth by taking on the role of mentor for someone who aspires to be in the position you are?

Serving as a mentor is a mutually beneficial process for both you and the mentee, as it challenges you to be accountable for what you believe in as well as compel you to continue to seek new knowledge and strategies. It is of the utmost importance to honor your role as a mentor through the understanding that the information and experience you are sharing can and will impact the life of someone else.

Here are 5 best practices for being an effective and thoughtful mentor and getting the most out of the experience.

1. Establish Boundaries + Mutual Expectations

It is important for both the mentor and mentee to have their cards on the table. After you’ve established the mentorship, be sure to set attainable goals for both of you and have a frank discussion about how much you are both willing to commit to the mentorship and what you expect from each other.

2. Assess Needs + Set Goals

The discussion continues! It is important for your mentee to be made to feel comfortable enough to be authentic in sharing their professional aspirations. Long-term goals should be laid out and then reverse-engineered through a set of attainable goals and smaller tasks that act as building blocks for the overall objective.

3. Set (and stick to) a Schedule

Once you’ve defined the course of the mentorship, set a schedule for your meet-ups of phone calls. Schedules help to set expectations and maintain accountability for everyone involved.

4. Listen

Letting the idea of being a mentor go to your head will render you ineffective. Be mindful of your mentee and what they are saying to and asking from you, rather than simply dumping your knowledge onto them.

5. Remain Curious

The best leaders are those who continue to seek knowledge and the opportunity to grow. You and your mentee stand to benefit greatly if you make the effort to continue to improve as opposed to resting on your laurels. The key to success in most, if not all industries is to continue to seek out ways to do what you do in a more effective way. It’s your responsibility to continue to grow as you help others to do the same.

Good mentors treat this role with the same respect as they do any other professional designation or task – with the utmost respect. Take time to consider if you can really handle the obligation that comes along with becoming a mentor, because flaking on a mentee who is relying on you is unkind and irresponsible.


Hi! I'm Tiffany Yarde, author of "How to Wine With Your Boss." I've got tons of opinions on humanity, economics, upward mobility, and good wine. Like what you've read? Please share on social media!

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