In ideal circumstances a Mentor would be:
- Someone who the Mentee can relate to and establish a natural rapport.
- A knowledgeable Mason; preferably with experience of the Royal Arch.
- Someone not currently holding an office in the Lodge, or at least not an onerous one demanding their presence during the meeting or at the meal afterwards. It is considered essential for the Mentor to retire with the candidate and to sit with him at the subsequent meal.
- Someone not likely to be encumbered with a time consuming office for some years to come, as mentoring may be required for a relatively prolonged period.
- A member who regularly attends lodge meetings and rehearsals, with sufficient spare time outside of normal Lodge attendance to meet with the new brother regularly.
- Someone who lives not too far from the brother for whom he has become responsible, for close proximity makes it easier to meet and forge a friendship outside as well as inside the Lodge.
- Outgoing, with a friendly personality.
- Someone with a proven track record of being helpful to new and inexperienced brethren.
- Enthusiastic about his Freemasonry.
- A good communicator.
- Of a similar age profile to the Candidate.
Whilst it would be helpful for a mentor to possess all of these qualifications and personal characteristics, they are listed only for guidance, as it is highly unlikely such brethren are available in many Lodges and even where they are, numbers will be extremely limited. Time constraints alone, resulting from offices held in the Lodge, will make it impossible for many Proposers and Seconders to fulfil the task.
Compromise will frequently be needed and when it is, priority should always be given to those characteristics which will result in the development of a lasting friendship between Candidate and Mentor. If the Mentor is of a similar age profile and is a good communicator with an outgoing and friendly personality, the mentoring is more likely to prove successful. Any perceived lack of detailed knowledge on the part of the Mentor can be easily addressed with the support of the Lodge Mentoring Coordinator and training must be made available at Provincial level.
Support for the Mentor
As a Mentor you have your own training and development needs and whilst you will be expected to treat the experience of mentoring as a learning curve for yourself, you may well need advice and support to do this.
- Who would you consider as being your Mentor? Identify at least one other person to whom you could turn for advice in the absence of the Lodge Mentoring Coordinator.
- Networking. Get to know other Mentors. Talk to them about your experiences and problems.
- If needs be do not be afraid to refer to a member of the Provincial Mentoring team.
- Attend any Mentoring workshops or seminars organised by the Provincial Mentor and benefit from the shared experience.