What makes a great mentor?

In a recent article for Forbes Magazine, Patricia Duchene noted five values she says that great mentors share:

  1. Accessibility – being available
  2. Authenticity – genuinely interested to help you on your journey
  3. Objectivity – giving honest feedback and being ready to challenge as well as praise
  4. Continual Learning – open to new ideas and responsive to change
  5. Values – such as respect, honesty and kindness

At our events, we ask that all our mentors agree to work in accordance with these values.

Mentors should:

Help you to identify areas you are making assumptions - and how these can be tested

Be willing to offer a different viewpoint (and mentors may often disagree!)

Help you to find resources you need that will help you on your journey

Respect your decisions and leave you in control of your project

Mentors shouldn't

Tell you what to do, why or how to do it, or why your project can't or shouldn't progress!

Outstay their welcome or interrupt your team and insist on being heard

Forget your objectives and your need to prioritise activities over the course of the event

Allow you to feel that because they have spoken, that must be right!

We hope and expect that mentors will enjoy their time, and we ask that team members respect that mentors are volunteers offering you their time, wisdom and connections in order to help you and the wider Innovate Suffolk mission of making our county the best place to start and grow businesses!

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