Mentor Competency Checklist

Framework curated by Meghann Coleman, Director at MindFrame Connect

What makes a good mentor?

Talk to a few different people and you will quickly find that everyone has varying definitions of what makes someone ‘effective.’ At MindFrame Connect, we’ve done extensive research on this – speaking to over 150 mentors and mentees, and it became clear that there is a recipe for success.

To begin, a mentor must be willing to give time and have good judgement. Beyond time and judgement, a mentor needs to develop and hone their craft, which includes a combination of the following:

What makes a good mentor?


  • Ability to connect on a personal level.
  • Willingness to create a safe, non-judgemental space built on trust, honesty, and warmth.
  • Openness to learn about mentees personal background and acknowledge the value of them providing different perspectives than your own (i.e., age, race, gender, sexuality, region).
  • Understanding of how your behaviour, background, and approach might impact a mentee.
  • Approach mentorship as a learning partnership.


  • Ability to actively listen.
  • Recognizing and accommodating different communication styles.
  • Ability to articulate clear expectations of the relationship.
  • Ability to ask open-ended, probing questions


  • Ability to provide constructive feedback.
  • Accepting and encouraging of regular feedback from mentee.
  • Guiding mentees to identify areas for improvement.
  • Encouraging mentees to set ambitious goals.
  • Encouraging regular reflection of performance.
  • Willingness to support mentee during periods of high-stress and crisis, as needed.


  • Willingness to share personal stories of not only success, but of failure and setbacks as well.
  • Ability to motivate and be a source of optimism.
  • Willingness to celebrate mentee’s successes.
  • Ability to role model risk taking and ‘thinking big’.


  • Willingness to open network to mentee.
  • Willingness to make connections and offer introductions.
  • Openness to maintain a relationship beyond the formal mentorship relationship.

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