Leon Steyn is a Public Speaker, Facilitator-Trainer, and international Author of Books and Articles that teach personal development skills and talent development at organizations.

Are you a mentor? Or a TORmentor?

Many talented and eager professionals are promoted to positions for which they are ill-prepared. Sadly, many good people are left to their own devices, like reluctance to ask for assistance, suffering in silence, and others. Enter the mentor...

A mentor is described as a person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school (Cambridge.) Besides having experience, knowledge, and patience, a mentor should also be able to contextualize, arrange and present alternatives in such a manner that the protégé (our new manager for example) can consider their own opinion, weigh up the options and then proceed with an action, in confidence.

According to Niël Steinmann, "a mentorship programme should be planned around development. Mentors should invest time and energy in getting to know their protégés. They ought to ensure increasing independence through confidence-building and should carefully consider the ending of the relationship when this becomes necessary. A "profitable" mentorship relationship is an association that is rewarding for both parties. It consists of meaningful and valuable discussions. Not only do these discussions add value to challenges and problem solving, but they also provide noticeable and significant contributions to the protégés learning, growth and development."

One of the shortcomings in my own development in my early years is that I never had a mentor; I had a few advisors, but no mentors. This resulted in me struggling with things many times and sometimes even feelings of inadequacy, weakness and "not-good-enough." My advice to you, dear new manager, is that a mentor can enrich, positively develop and really give greater meaning to your life.

What, then, makes a good mentor? This question cannot be answered in just one article, however, one can make a very good start, by looking for the following characteristics in a mentor:

  1. Trustworthy

  2. Humble

  3. Expert listener

  4. Sound character

  5. Understanding

  6. Optimistic

At the very least, these indicators will give you a sound foundation on which to build your development programme, either as a protégé or mentor.

How to know whether you are a tormentor?

Do/be the opposite of all the above!

Contact me here or visit my friendly website for a frank and friendly discussion about mentorship

I look forward to chatting with you!

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