Besides being a coach, companies increasingly are asking their executives and managers to take on the role of mentor to up-and-coming staff. Everyone, however, can't be a successful mentor. To determine your fit, you have to have the trust of potential mentees or protégés. To find out how you might far, ask yourself which statement in each pair best reflects you:
1a. I listen carefully to others.
1b. I don’t always listen. Sometimes, I’m just too busy.
2a. I share my thoughts and ideas with others.
2b. I hide my thinking and hold in my personal feelings.
3a. I keep the promises I make. If I can’t be sure that I can hold a promise, I don’t make it.
3b. I have been known to break a promise. Sometimes, it is just easier to agree to someone’s request even if I know I won’t be able to deliver on it.
4a. I accept others’ styles and personalities and make an effort to work with them.
4b. I have my own style and I expect others to adapt to it.
5a. I am open to new ideas and information.
5b. I have strong views and I find it hard to accept opinions or ideas of others.
6a. I make an effort to build others’ self-esteem and provide them with the skills, abilities, and knowledge they need to succeed.
6b. I don’t suffer fools gladly.
7a. I believe I am a team player.
7b. It’s a competitive world and I intend to come out first.
8a. I am known to focus on my staff’s strengths.
8b. I expect my employees to do their jobs well and I won’t tolerate mistakes.
9a. I do what I say and I say what I do.
9b. I have been known to send mixed messages.
10a. I don't disclose confidential information given to me.
10b. I tell tales.
How well did you do? Would your staff or peers agree with your assessment? How honest are you being with yourself? The first statements, of course, are representative of a good mentor.