Module 4

Characteristics of a Mentor


  • List characteristics of successful mentors.
  • Review testimony from others that define characteristics of quality mentors.


Let’s take a look at the following characteristics of successful mentors:

  1. High level of attunement in their personal relationships.
  2. Belief that they are capable of filling the mentor role (self-efficacy).
  3. Realistic expectations about the relationship, the experience, and the impact they can have on youth.
  4. The ability to problem solve and seek out support from the program to overcome difficulties and avoid ending the match.
  5. Having a youth-centered focus—the ability to relate to youth at their level.
  6. An awareness of their own personal biases and cultural competency.
  7. The ability to reflect their own motivations, actions, and contributions to the relationship.

The research has demonstrated that youth in high quality relationships improve academic performance, reduce the likelihood of dropping out, decrease incidence of high risk behaviors—substance abuse, carrying a weapon, unsafe sex and violence, and supports young people in their development-academic, emotional and social.

According the the article “Getting to the Gold” by Annetta Miller, goals and activities are at the heart of the mentoring relationship. The key is to pay attention to the mentee’s needs and interests.

In the article “Mentoring Works” by Jonathan Alter, “mentoring is not the solution to the problems of the next generation. Parenting comes first. But even good parents often need some help.”