Armando Rodriguez, a Presidential Awardee of mentoring excellence, gives a few of his insights to the requirements and responsibilities of mentoring:
WHAT QUALITIES DOES A GOOD MENTOR NEED?
Sensitivity and empathy (e.g., toward cultural, gender, disability, or minority issues)
Approachable and available
Pragmatic and flexible
Enthusiastic about the many opportunities that exist for young researchers to develop professionally (e.g., internships, fellowships, conferences, etc.)
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A MENTOR?
Provide alternative approaches/solutions to technical/personal problems.
Properly assess a student's background and interests
View the mentee-mentor relationship as a true partnership
Create an environment in which student talent is nurtured and permitted to flourish
WHAT DO MENTEES WANT FROM THEIR MENTORS?
Provide or suggest possible solutions or approaches to problems
Be knowledgeable about technical aspects associated with a field and about career opportunities
MENTORS SHOULD PROVIDE MENTEES WITH:
Aadvice, direction, and guidance (short-term and long-term)
A sense of what opportunities exist and what is achievable
Perspective--a sense of the "big picture"
Tools for achieving short-term and long-term goals
Weighted compassion, constructive criticism, and praise
Mechanisms for intellectual and personal growth