by Burl W. Randolph Jr.

Sometimes we can all be a little moody, unless you are mentoring.

Being moody can mean being temperamental – morose, sullen, or irritable, etc. When you are mentoring however, such a luxury does not occur. Mentoring requires an array of values such as respect, integrity, and confidentiality just to name a few, but the one value which may most impact the mentor’s mood is beneficence – generosity.

Generosity is a key value in mentoring because the mentoring relationship takes so much time to cultivate, and a moody mentor is of little value to the mentee. So, what are some behaviors that befit the mood of a mentor?

1.     Positive. The exact opposite of sullen, the mentee requires positive, upbeat, and confident reinforcement from the mentor regardless of the situation, or how the mentor feels.

2.     Calm. An irritated mentor only creates an anxious mentee.

3.     OptimisticMorose is gross when it comes to mentoring, because the mentee does not need or deserve a miserable mentor.

4.     Practical. A mentor must be realistic in the advice too and expectations of their mentee.

5.     Visionary. The mentor must see further than what the mentee can see of themselves.

As a mentor, no matter what mood I am in, my mentees energize me and create in me all the behaviors listed above. In a true mentoring relationship, a mentee is concerned about the mentor’s mood and well-being as well and will sometimes ask how the mentor feels. This may be an opportunity for reverse-mentoring to occur or a sincere sharing of information. Whatever the case, the mentor’s mood must always be beneficial to help the mentee, and the relationship.

So, what is your mentor’s mood? If you are a mentor, what’s your mood?