1. Develop yourself by developing others
I believe that if you invest in developing mentees, you will in turn develop yourself. This is one of my highest priorities when it comes to the mentoring relationship. I recently read a statistic that said "you are 60% more likely to get promoted in a year when you regularly help your co-workers." Mentoring means helping others. Mentoring means laughing WITH your mentees... not at them.
2. Don't ever stop learning
According to Knowles' Adult Learning Theory, there are several factors that can affect the adult learning process. I find these three of them especially true of myself: readiness to learn, orientation to learning, and motivation. I find orientation to learning as being one of the key factors that determines how well I relate learning to current life situations. For example, I am much more open to learning when I know it will help me perform tasks or confront real life situations. Because we all had those classes in college where we said "when we will everrrrrrrrrr use this"? (I bet that you've used some of it)
3. Use your mentoring network
I am a very engaged self-learner. In fact, nearly every skill I use in my current job was taught by mentors (many of them my peers in classes and organizations - you know who you are) and not from my degree or textbooks. From graphic design to web design, I self-taught myself the skills and computer programs that I needed to know to be successful. Go learn a new skill; it's okay to be smarter than your boss.
4. Be intelligent and use emotional intelligence
I see myself as empathetic when it comes to the mentor relationship. I always try to see the other person's perspective and base my relationship with them off of emotional intelligence. I always watch my tone and make sure that I come across as friendly and easy to understand. For example, after explaining how to do something to a mentee, I will always follow with a question such as "Does that all make sense?" So, when you see your mentee crying, it's time to ease off a little.
5. Don't Stop Believing, in yourself and your mentee
The mentoring relationship should be a mutually-beneficial and self-improving process. Not only can the mentor facilitate growth within the mentee, but he or she can learn things about themselves during the process. One of my mentors has taught me a valuable self-evaluation technique that can be used in many different situations – that is to ask the following questions about a process, a task, or even your mentoring relationship: "what are we doing right?" and "what can we improve?". Celebrate the good and push the bad off to the sales department.