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The Secrets of Successful Situational Mentoring

Situational mentors are the right help at the right time. They are your go to people -- if you got a situation you go to a situational mentor.  Situational mentors come in all shapes and sizes and are one of the most universal keys to success both personally and professionally.  Situational mentors inspire, encourage, motivate and share lessons from their past experience. They can answer a specific question or offer their support and guidance through a current problem or challenge.

Anyone can employ a situational mentor and better yet, anyone can be a situational mentor.  The following are some attributes of the successful situational mentor. And yes, it can be you!    


Everyone has a gift to share.  A great situational mentor can see beyond what is presented and can discern a special attribute or talent that the individual may not even know exists. Many times, people think we know what their talents are; but it takes an objective point-of-view to show them where they actually lie. 

Situational mentors can be of any age. A situation mentor does not have to be in the management ranks. Many times a junior professional has plenty to offer. They can assist with a technical challenge or give their generation’s perspective on a certain issue.  They know what their niche is and what they have to offer.

Time commitment is flexible. It is not the specific time given to another, but rather the commitment offered.  Some situational mentors can only give an hour or two and others can be available for the long haul. It is the quality and sincerity of that time that will define the relationship and its outcome.

Everyone’s unique potential is exciting. Effective situational mentors do not see the limits that individuals put on themselves and oftentimes have the ability to stretch them further than they feel they can stretch themselves.  They are positive in their approach and can promote others’ potential while encouraging them to achieve the next level of their aspirations.

Enthusiasm is infectious.  When someone is so excited about something, their energy is contagious. Folks who have a passion for what they do can motivate others with ease. Their enthusiasm and passion is oftentimes passed on and can create a curiosity in others as well.

There are great rewards in service to others.  Great situational mentors are in a constant cycle of paying it forward and encourage others to do the same. They know what it is like to experience the satisfaction that comes with helping and supporting another and also know how offering one’s time and gifts is not only charitable, but it truly empowering.

Think about your talents and what you can offer another.  You really can make a difference! 

This article was published in The Training Connection, Inc.'s May 2015 Newsletter.

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