Top 7 Key Mentoring Skills Every Project Leader Needs 

 April 16, 2023

Written by Yemisi Iyilade, Project Management Consultant, Scientist & Innovation Expert.

As a project leader, having the right mentoring skills to effectively mentor team members is essential for getting projects done on time and achieving successful outcomes.

Mentoring allows you to foster collaboration among your team, ensure everyone’s strengths are utilized efficiently and develop a positive environment in which everyone can thrive.

To get the most out of your project team, mastering these 7 key mentoring skills will be invaluable: communication, trust-building, problem-solving, motivation, listening comprehension, and feedback give-and-take.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss each of these in detail so you can have all the tools necessary to build an effective mentorship style that gets results. Let’s take a deeper look into how you can use each skill to create better project teams.

What are the 7 key mentoring skills that would help you become a successful project and team leader?

Mentorship is mutually beneficial; not only does it add value by helping someone else reach success but mentors themselves benefit from learning opportunities provided by those whom they mentor as well as build a positive reputation within their respective industries through making meaningful connections with individuals who become part of one another’s professional networks!

If you’re looking for ways to give back while growing yourself professionally – becoming a mentor is definitely one option worth considering. Below are 7 key mentoring skills that would help you become a successful project and team leader

1) Active Listening

Recognizing the importance of active listening is crucial for project leaders while working with team members. By paying close attention to what they’re saying, you can gain a better understanding of their needs and how you can best support them.

Active listening means not only hearing the words being spoken but also taking note of important non-verbal cues like tone of voice, body language, and other contextual factors.

By doing so, you’re able to build a deeper level of trust and rapport with your mentee, which is vital to any successful mentoring relationship. It requires practice to become a skilled active listener, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

2) Communication

Effective communication is a vital component of successful mentorship. It involves expressing yourself clearly and accurately while showing empathy towards the other person. In order to have an open and productive dialogue, it’s essential to make sure communication flows both ways.

This means being attentive to your mentor and taking the time to listen to their thoughts and ideas. When both parties actively engage in the conversation, it leads to stronger relationships built on mutual understanding and trust.

As a mentor, mastering the art of communication is crucial to help your mentee grow and develop.

3) Organization

Establishing and prioritizing key objectives is an essential part of being organized in any setting. Particularly when it comes to mentor-mentee relationships, having a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished can ensure that both parties are working towards the same end goal.

By defining specific objectives, you’ll be able to measure progress and track success, which can be incredibly motivating. Whether you’re working towards a single objective or a set of priorities, outlining your goals can help ensure that your mentorship relationship is productive and efficient.

4) Problem-Solving

A good mentor will assist team members in creating plans to tackle challenges, all while promoting creative thinking and a willingness to take calculated risks when appropriate.

In any professional setting, problem-solving skills are crucial for success both independently and as a team. As a mentor, your role is to guide and provide support as your team navigates through any issues that may arise.

Being able to identify potential problems before they occur and offering effective solutions is key to ensuring that your team runs smoothly. Problem-solving requires the ability to think critically, analyze the situation from various angles, and develop a plan of action.

By fostering a supportive environment that encourages open communication and collaboration, you can help your team members develop their problem-solving skills and achieve their goals with confidence.

5. Evaluation

Evaluation is an essential mentoring skill that can help project and team leaders become successful. Evaluating the effectiveness of a project or team’s performance helps identify areas in which improvement is needed.

This is especially important when it comes to managing teams, as evaluation allows for a better understanding of how well each member contributes to the overall success of the project. Mentors should be able to assess the progress and results of their mentees and provide feedback accordingly.

Evaluation also helps build trust between team members by showing that each individual’s contributions are valued, encouraging better communication and collaboration among team members.

Moreover, evaluation can help mentors understand the skill level of their mentees and provide appropriate guidance to help them improve.

Consequently, mentors should use ongoing evaluation to assess the performance of their teams and provide meaningful feedback that encourages growth and development. Ultimately, evaluation is a key mentoring skill that will help project and team leaders become successful.

6 . Emotional Intelligence

As a mentor, it is crucial to not only control and manage your own emotions but also to understand the emotions of your mentee.

The best mentors are able to strike a balance between compassion and encouragement to help their mentoree grow and learn. Emotional intelligence plays a key role in establishing a successful mentor-mentee relationship as it enables the mentor to identify and address the emotional needs of their mentee while motivating them to overcome obstacles.

By practicing emotional intelligence, mentors can build trust, establish effective communication and nurture a productive learning environment for their mentoree to thrive.

7) Asking great questions

Asking great questions is an important skill in any conversation. You must be able to ask compelling, thought-provoking questions that force the mentee to dig deep.

It helps to ensure that the conversation stays focused and relevant, as well as providing the opportunity for the speaker to gain more information or context. It also shows that you are engaged in the conversation and interested in what is being discussed.

Great questions can be open-ended (for engaging in deeper conversations) or closed (for confirming information). The key to asking great questions is to be thoughtful, respectful, and specific.

Don’t ask too many questions at once—ask one question at a time and allow the conversation to move organically. Showing genuine curiosity about the other person will help foster a more meaningful connection.

Finally, make sure to listen carefully to the answer and follow up with more probing questions if necessary. With practice, asking great questions can become second nature!

5 Benefits of Mentoring Others

Mentoring is a powerful way to give back and add value to others. Whether you are a project leader, team leader, product manager, project manager, or business owner, mentoring can help build your reputation and validate your skill. It also has the potential to provide a sense of fulfillment and meaning.

Let’s look at the five benefits of mentoring others.

1. Connecting with Different People:

By mentoring others, you have the opportunity to meet new people with different backgrounds and perspectives. This gives you the opportunity to learn from them and gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses. You can also use this opportunity to exchange ideas, thoughts, experiences, and solutions that benefit both parties in the long run.

2. Building Your Reputation:

Mentoring is an excellent way for you to build your reputation as an expert in your field because it showcases your knowledge and experience in a particular area or industry. As you mentor others on topics such as leadership, management, or technical skills, people start recognizing you as an authority figure within that area or industry due to the value that they gain from your advice.

3. Helping Others Grow:

Mentoring provides a platform for you to share your knowledge with others so that they may grow in their profession or career path. By providing guidance on challenges they face during their journey towards success, you help them develop their skills which gives them more confidence in themselves as well as validates their capabilities when it comes to tackling difficult tasks or projects for their employer or customers alike.

4. Fulfillment & Meaning:

When we take time out of our day-to-day lives for something more meaningful like mentoring someone else, it brings us immense satisfaction and joy knowing that we have given back our time and energy towards another’s development journey! It also helps us create meaningful connections that stand the test of time – no matter how far geographically apart we may be!

5. Network Expansion:

Through mentorship activities like networking events or workshops where mentors share their expertise with other professionals looking for ways to further develop their careers.

Participants get access to not only valuable advice but also contacts that could potentially lead them down paths they had never thought possible before! This kind of network expansion is invaluable when it comes to professional growth!

Final Thoughts

Mentorship is an incredibly important skill set for any project leader or team leader but it takes time and effort to hone these skills correctly in order to achieve success with each project/team member under your supervision/leadership role.

Becoming a mentor is not a simple job, but the rewards are plentiful both in the long and short term. Listening, communication, organization, problem-solving, coaching, and emotional intelligence are key components of being an effective mentor.

As a team leader, it’s important to take ownership of the development of your team by learning these mentorship skills; in doing so everyone involved will be better off in the long term.

There is no greater reward than making a difference in someone’s life through individual coaching – becoming the leader who helps bring out their highest potential.

So take action today – learn mentoring skills to develop your team member’s capabilities. Pay attention to what your mentees say and communicate with them in an empathetic manner. Identify and prioritize key objectives that will help you reach your team’s desired outcomes.

Finally, take initiative to develop your mentee’s skills confidently and with consideration of their emotional state. With persistence and practice these competencies can be mastered over time.


How do you find great mentors?

Finding potential mentors can be a tricky process, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by doing some research on people in your field or industry that you admire and respect. Reach out to people whose work you are interested in, and ask them if they might be willing to mentor you.

You could also seek out mentors through professional organizations or networks. Once you’ve identified a potential mentor, reach out and let them know why you admire their work, and why you would like to learn from them.

When it comes to finding mentors who are the best fit for you, it’s important to evaluate the person’s background and experience as well as their personality, goals, and values.

You should be able to trust them completely and feel comfortable talking openly with them about your ideas and experiences. It’s also important to make sure that your mentor has the time to devote to mentoring you.

How do you implement a Mentoring or Coaching Program in your organization?

Implementing a mentoring or coaching program in an organization is an excellent way to develop employees, foster team collaboration, and create workplace relationships.

A successful mentoring or coaching program requires thoughtful planning, proactive recruiting of mentors and/or coaches, and ongoing support from the whole company.

The first step in implementing such a program is to create a clear purpose and set of objectives. This should be done in collaboration with all levels of the organization, as it will provide everyone with an understanding of what the program is meant to achieve. Once this has been established, you can follow the above guidelines to develop the key mentoring skills for success.


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Yemisi Iyilade

Yemisi Iyilade is a Project Management Professional, PMP and Maxwell Leadership Coach and Trainer. She has worked in the environmental, nonprofit, and technology industries, developing new products and services, providing leadership, and facilitating meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Yemisi is driven by a mission to empower young people, women, and immigrant professionals through content delivery, coaching and training. She believes that if given the right tools and tactics, any motivated person can gain the awareness and grit needed to create better opportunities.


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