Arguably listening is the most important skill of a mentor. The research shows that this doesn’t just mean staying quiet, saying “mmm” and paraphrasing what the speaker said. Yes, this is all important but the best listener asks questions to gain a greater understanding and push the speaker to further articulate what they are saying.
This Harvard Business Review article discusses the qualities of the best listeners. The authors conclude by saying “we hope all will see that the highest and best form of listening comes in playing the same role for the other person that a trampoline plays for a child. It gives energy, acceleration, height and amplification.”
It plays the same role in mentoring.