Every mentor aspires to work with a great mentee. In selecting a mentee, a mentor should ensure that the mentee has certain qualities and attributes. This will ensure that the relationship is productive and successful.

Hereunder are 23 top qualities of a great mentee:

Action Planner

A great mentee should have a mentee plan. This plan should align with his/her overall career plan.

It should be detailed with what the aim and objectives that should be achieved during the mentor mentee relationship. The role of the mentor should be specified as well as  what areas support will be provided.

Action Taker

Having a extensive action plan is of no use unless the actions are implemented. A great mentee have the passion, strong work ethic and drive to see the plan through to the end.

He/she must take executing the actions as more important than making the plan itself.

Follow Up/ Follow Through Skills

A great mentee should have excellent follow through skills. Some persons are naturally gifted at remembering what needs to be done. However, others need put systems in place to ensure that actions are followed up.

Tools like Trello, Asana or Toggl could be used to assist with productivity and organisation. This attribute will ensure ownership which will help drive the plan forward.

An ideal mentee will own the actions at every stage from beginning until completion.

Goal Setter

Clear goals should be created that guides the mentee mentor relationship. Without these, the relationship may not be as impactful as it could be.

Goals will also enable better accountablility on the part of the mentor. A useful model that can be used by a mentee to set goals is the SMART acronym. SMART stands for

          S- Specific

          M- Measurable

          A- Achievable

          R- Realistic

         T- Timely

Mentee Goal Example

To roll out a beauty blog that will earn $1000 per month over the next 12 months.

Objective Setter

Objectives are set by dividing a big goal into smaller actionable steps. A great mentee should be an objective setter who is able to break a big goal down into a step by step plan.

The mentor could help by reviewing the objectives to ensure that they are suitable to ensure that the goal is achieved.

The objectives should be specific and linked to the big goal. Deadlines should be set in order to ensure than an objective does not remain incomplete for an indefinite period of time.

Mentee Objective Example

Extending the example of the mentee goal above which was to start a beauty blog over the next 12 months, the following is an example of what the top 10 objectives may look like for this goal.

  • Select a suitable domain
  • Research and choose a hosting provider (Bluehost, Siteground)
  • Decide what platform to set up the blog (Squarespace, WordPress)
  • Take a blogging course to get knowledge on content creation
  • Create and write 30 blog posts
  • Set up email marketing service
  • Create 3 lead magnets to collect email subscribers
  • Learn the fundamentals of search engine optimisation
  • Create social media pages on Facebook and Twitter
  • Take a social media course to understand Facebook and Twitter marketing

It is essential that these all have deadlines attached to them. Some actions will require longer time than others. As an example, more time will be required to write 30 blog posts than set up social media pages. The mentor should also provide guidance on this so that mentee expectations are managed.

If you are interested in starting a blog, there is a quickstart guide to blogging in our free resource library. Click HERE to access.

Continuous Learning

A great mentee should embrace the spirit of continuous learning. Usually to achieve anything new or for any form of growth, a new skill must be learnt.

Having a mindset that embraces growing pains is a desirable trait that would positively impact the mentor mentee relationship.


To achieve anything one has to be focus on the goal. This means working on the objectives even on days when you are tired and overwhelmed.

This may also mean trying one more time after you have failed several times before.  A focused mentee will despite setbacks or roadblock work towards achieving the goal.


Reading is transformational. Therefore a great mentee will be someone who values reading and is willing to do a full deep dive into the subject area.

This will ensure that the subject matter is explored from many perspectives. Reading could also help the relationship as the mentee may be able to ask more informed questions. This could speed up the time taken to achieve the objectives.

Time Management

Both mentee and mentor have jobs, families and other commitments that will demand their time. To ensure that goal of the relationship is achieved, time management will be crucial.


Your mentor will more than likely be someone senior to you.  That individual may tend to have multiple personal and professional commitments. 

A great mentee will respect this sacrifice and ensure that meetings are scheduled in a timely fashion. Honouring commitments will be crucial.

The following are six steps to consider which could ensure that your meetings are fruitful and productive.

  • Have a plan in mind of what you want to accomplish from the outset and agree upfront with your mentor. This will eliminate any waste of time.
  • Agree meeting times and places. Ensure that you are on time for the meeting. Set up a meeting request on email if required.
  • Attend all meetings with an agenda
  • Silence your cellphone to eliminate distractions
  • Agree and maintain minutes of each meeting with actionable steps required with timelines.
  • Set date and time for next meeting
  • Express gratitude

Accepts Criticisms

A great mentee is someone who is able to accept criticism positively. At the end of the day, the mentor’s role is not to make you happy or relaxed.  The mentor should push you outside of your comfortable zone so that you are able to grow and develop.

According to John C Crosby, mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. This push may cause pain. Thus an ideal mentee will embrace the pain as part of the process to greatness.


An admirable mentee is one who is reflective. The ability to evaluate and criticise oneself is key method for growth and development. If you do not see an area as one that requires improvement, no matter how much the mentor pushes you, no growth will result.


Anything of significance usually takes a long time to sow and bear fruit. A great mentee is one who has patience to wait and sometimes a very long time before reaping the harvest of hard work.


Ideally, a mentee should be open to sharing both highlights and lowlights so that the mentor could provide the best possible recommendation to the mentee. Without openness, the mentor could be shooting in the dark. Therefore, openness is critical.


Confidentiality is a great trait that a good mentee must possess. For the purpose of illustration and example the mentor may share life stories and life lessons which may incorporate the actions of others.

Confidentiality will be important as the mentor will not be happy if these scenarios are repeated in forums outside of that relationship.


According to Will Rogers, the road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.

Consistency is an excellent quality of a good mentee as this individual will keep going despite the many reasons and situations where the person can park. That separates the good from the great mentee.


For a mentor mentee relationship to be successful, there must be regular communication between both parties. The mentor must be able to communicate both positive and negative feedback in a timely fashion.

Effective listening skills will help in narrowing down the areas where support is required. At times, the mentee may not be fully able to articulate challenges.

Active listening will help in these instances as well as misunderstandings will be avoided. A schedule should be established where both parties meet for regular updates.


It is one thing to create great plans and goals but only when these are implemented that one can reap the rewards. A desirable mentee is one who is prepared to dive in and get stuck and do the work in order to see results.

Positive Outlook

There is always something that can cause you to feel discouraged along your path to achieving anything. A great mentee is one who can remain calm and keep an optimistic perspective despite what is happening.


In mentor mentee relationships, the mentor relies on the mentee to work independently to achieve the goals set at meetings. A great mentee should be self-motivated to achieve relationship goals.

Leadership Skills

A good mentee should have leadership capabilities to chart success by himself/herself. This in turn helps in developing skills that can be used to lead others.

Relationship Builder

A mentor may want to introduce the mentee to other professionals within the industry. The mentee should be able to work the room and build relationships and connections from these meetings.


There is a famous quote that nothing worth having comes easy. A mentee should be able to feel fear but dig deep to overcome obstacles along the path to success.

There are several other resources on this blog on mentorship which you may find valuable. Feel free to click on the links below to explore:-

How To Ask Someone To Mentor You

How To Find A Mentor For Your Career

10 Top Career Questions To Ask A Mentor

10 Top Qualities of An Effective Mentor

33 Great Mentoring Quotes

Five Questions To Ask A Reverse Mentee

12 Top Career Mentoring Questions To Ask A Mentee

7 Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Mentor

6 Valuable Benefits of Mentoring To Advance Your Career

Final Thoughts

A great mentee must be committed and dedicated to make certain that the mentee mentor relationship is successful.

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17 Top Qualities of A Great Mentee

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