Leadership Type –
Facilitator, Mentor, Team Builder
Value Drivers –
Commitment, Communication, Development
Theory of Effectiveness –
Human development and high commitment produce effectiveness
Incubating Workplace, Values, Learning
Illustrative People –
Teachers, Counsellors, Community Builders
Mentors are perceptive, highly adaptable and versatile, which enables them to interact effectively with diverse people and cope with sudden changes. They thrive in dynamic environments, love trying out new concepts and ideas, and show a lot of creativity. Mentors are quintessentially social and human contact is a necessity. They are natural diplomats and typically possess high emotional intelligence. Mentors are good listeners and are great at smoothing over conflicts in a non-confrontational manner because of their sense of fairness.
Mentors are highly perceptive individuals. Their approachable, sensitive, cooperative and supportive nature is what sets them apart. They can communicate effectively with colleagues and express appreciation for good performance and ideas.
The Mentor is engaged in the development of people through a caring and compassionate approach. Mentors are normally extroverts with mild and friendly dispositions. They understand that they are as much a facilitator as they are a leader.
Mentors also tend to have an incredibly adaptable personality. As caring people, they are happy to adapt their working styles and communication to the needs of colleagues and clients. This adaptable personality often makes mentors popular in the workplace.
Mentors are strongly group-oriented, and highly perceptive individuals. They are typically friendly and compliant. They focus on creating a positive atmosphere and a sense of unity within the organisation. They are sensitive and supportive towards others. The Mentor is a good listener and quickly senses how others feel. They dislike conflict, and do their utmost to use their tact and diplomacy to avoid these from occurring in the organisation. Thanks to their empathy and communicative skills, they bring team members closer together. They are constantly looking for balance, steering the middle course.
The Mentor has insight to both self and others, sees the unique in everybody and knows what to expect of individuals. Their understanding of traits and individualistic characteristics means they see the possibilities in the organisation for each individual. The Mentor increases their capacities through competence management, personal development plans and individual coaching. Their unconditional faith in individual capacities means they can more easily delegate and share challenging tasks. The Mentor is a good listener and rarely judges too rapidly. They improve the self-confidence and emotional conscience of people, and develop their capacity to evaluate and stretch themselves.
Mentors love people, and their sensing characteristic puts a premium on making sure that everyone’s voice is heard.
A Mentor is the greasy oil between the cogs that keeps the machine that is the team running. The beneficial effect of a Mentor is often not noticed until they are absent, when the team begins to argue, and small but important things cease to happen. With their adaptable personality, the Mentor plays the role of negotiator within the team and provides the support to ensure that team members are working together effectively.
If Mentors notice that other team members are not coping with their workload, they are likely to step in and assist. Because of this, Mentors tend to be popular with colleagues and often rise to senior positions.
Mentors are very capable in their own right, and know what issues are confronting the team. Their priority is team cohesion and they are adept at getting a team to function well together as a unit. The main contribution of the Mentor is to help individual members to achieve and maintain team effectiveness. Having a Mentor on your team is essential to keeping team members happy and productivity high.
Mentors like a versatile team, with a very collaborative approach that allows team members to play off of one another’s strengths. They look at what each individual brings to the table and assign projects with those strengths in mind. They make people feel comfortable in their roles first and then encourage them to stretch outside their comfort zones. They believe in breeding confidence in their teams. Fuelling that dedication to delivering the best results for the team is crucial to the Mentor.
According to the Mentor, people are a means of production that can be developed. The Mentor helps to develop skills, provides opportunity for education and training, and plans for individual development. The most adaptable personality, mentors are seen to be the most supportive persona, concerned about how others are feeling and with a great capacity to adapt readily to different situations and different people.
Mentors are understanding and take the time to listen to others. They have high levels of empathy and sensitivity. Mentors understand very well the art of supporting the emotional well-being of other people. They work to improve communication, develop others, and help others achieve their full potential. Where a Shaper is more focused on the group, a Mentor is more focused on individuals, and getting the most out of each team member.
Mentors can be indecisive, non-committal and avoid making difficult decisions. Further, because of an unwillingness to take sides a Mentor may be reluctant to take decisive action when it is needed. In general, the Mentor’s pitfall is that they tend to avoid problems in the group. This is a shame, because, like no other, their sensitivity allows them to feel what is causing the problem.
Mentors may struggle under pressure and may lack toughness or robustness when facing conflict. They should be mindful of seeming too nice. The desire to show appreciation can be at odds with the need to be tough in negotiations, or more forceful with someone who isn’t pulling their weight.
Because Mentors are so drawn to a good atmosphere, they can sometimes unwillingly create a whimsical atmosphere in which matters are not taken seriously. This can lead to the Mentor being too lenient, and sometimes evading responsibility. Alternatively, team members may view them as a soft touch, or not take them seriously.
How to get the best out of Mentors
Mentors should be encouraged to take difficult decisions and to avoid siding with one team member against another, or forming cliques. They should use their skills to develop team members and to delegate more. They also need to be reminded that it’s not always possible to keep everyone happy all of the time.
Many mentors perform well in positions of leadership, especially in areas where they have a high level of expertise. As highly perceptive individuals, mentors are particularly aware of their team’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to get the most out of each team member.
Mentors should be encouraged to point out legitimate problems and shortcomings for the sake of keeping the team together. By doing so they will build the trust and confidence of Analysts and Directors who often lose sight of the Mentors feel-good messages.
You’ll find Mentors in all sorts of careers, but the careers they most favour are listed below.
Arts and Media
Career in the Entertainment Industry
Career in the Fashion Industry
Career in the Music Industry
Career in the Performing Arts
Career in the Television Industry
Child Care Worker
Early Childhood Educator
High School Teacher
Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Manager
Non Profit Sector
Professor Of English
Public Relations Manager
Race Car Driver
Record Store Owner
Record Store Owner or Employee
Social Services Worker
Special Education Worker
Stay at Home Parent
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Pioneers enable change and adaptation, and pay attention to the changing environment. They spot important trends, express ideas, anticipate change, and manage uncertainty and risk.