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10 Traits of a Mentor with Generational Intelligence

  • 26th Feb'22

"Be a sponge and absorb as much information as possible from as many people as possible." – Kathleen Henson Sarpy.


A mentor is defined as someone who sees the light in you even when you fail to do so. Mentorship styles have evolved through generations and are highly dependent on the personalities of mentors and mentees. A mentor with generational intelligence ensures to push their mentees to the grip of success, fulfilling the expectations of every person involved. 

The recent pandemic gave us a glimpse of effective individual commitment, even from a remote setup. This whole activity makes us think hard about how mentorship is no longer a one-way street; we can go top-down or bottom-up in the hierarchy for effective mentorship

Generational Intelligence is a term that has recently gained its significance because of the depth it offers in addition to experience. The meaning and importance of mentorship platforms have dangled amidst choices and preferences with the evolving generations. But today, the need for a mentor with generational intelligence is more than ever as diversity, equality, and inclusion are essential concepts within an organization. The article below will brief you about the changes in mentoring expectations across generations and reveal ten traits of a mentor with generational intelligence.


Mentoring Through Generations

Briefly, we can summarize the mentoring experience through four generations.

  • Traditionalists

The traditionalists follow a formal mentoring procedure where the mentor is expected to train their mentee long term over regular one-to-one meetups. It is structured where mentors execute a powerful status and believe they have a lot to offer to the younger generation.


  • Baby Boomers

Similar to traditionalists but with a clear objective and duration, the baby boomers generation mentors are also structured. However, they are open to learning about technology development and other updates from their Gen X colleagues.


  • Generation X

The Gen X category has missed out on early mentoring but requires it to move up the hierarchy into leadership positions. Mentors of this generation still keep some reservations about the time and experience that they offer to mentees. Mentees are expected to do most of the groundwork themselves and follow a mentoring structure.


  • Generation Y

Gen Y mentees need mentoring based on individual requirements. There is anticipation over the mentoring structure, and the mutual relationship between mentor and mentees plays an important role. Sometimes, senior mentors feel rejected and decide to stop mentoring altogether. 


10 Traits of a Powerful Mentor

1. They Strategize and Provide Clarity

A mentor understands the importance of time and opportunities. They motivate their mentees in more than one way. They are great communicators and emphasize adapting to the newer ways of connecting with mentees. With changing times, they suggest strategies for mentees to become their best versions.


2. They Motivate you to Keep Learning

A mentor with general intelligence always values learning and stays passionate about it. They acknowledge that they won't know everything, but they put in their best efforts to fetch the solutions. They also encourage their mentees to share their knowledge and ideas on things they might not know.


3. They Help you Move Beyond your Comfort Zone

Mentors are great at knowing your comfort zone and developing actionable goals to help you step outside the zone. They bring you new opportunities, help expand your network, and encourage you to keep performing. They also share their life stories, bad choices, and how they overcame all of them. Their characteristics of self-awareness and maturity make the mentee perform better under their mentorship.


4. They Attend to your Concerns

Mentoring millennials is a challenge, and a mentor with generational intelligence is emotionally intense and is a great listener. They do not interrupt your thoughts, prompt you to open up, and provide clarity of your notions. They make great conversations by asking questions and taking notes, and they do not give up on their mentees ever.


5. They are Emotionally Available

Mentoring structures fail when they lack to involve the emotional aspect of people. Hence a mentor with generational intelligence sharpens their emotional quotient to empathize better with their mentees.


6. They Evaluate Perspectives

No one is wrong or right in their approaches; it is just their perspective. Mentors could significantly contribute to mentees' success when they understand the differences in their thoughts and reasons. 


7. They Seek Assistance when Needed

Mentors with generational intelligence accept the gaps within people,' and they drop their egos while asking for help. They do not refrain from seeking help from other mentors when needed to solve issues.


8. They Confront and Work on their Prejudices

No one is perfect, and neither is a mentor. But a mentor with generational intelligence adapts to the situation, accepts their mistakes on preconceptions, and works on their prejudices.


9. They Appreciate Differences

Mentors recognize the immaculate differences among people from different generations; nevertheless, they bring out the best in their mentees. It takes planning and compromises on the part of mentors, but they take the responsibility head-on.


10. They Provide Effective Feedback

Regardless of mentees' differences, a mentor with generational intelligence does not refrain from giving feedback. The feedback is regular, on point, and brims with positivity and suggestions for improvement. 


The Right Trigger

A mentor with generational intelligence isn't an easy find; they are molded with the right training and resources. Intergenerational mentoring programs help both mentors and mentees fill mentorship gaps and make up for a fun learning experience. The awareness of generational differences gives mentor-mentee a chance to create excellent channels that makes communication easier. As a result, an innovative and high-performing team emanates, which benefits the organization significantly in the long term.


Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

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