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As a staff sergeant, you must consider this in your vision for your unit and determine whoyour mentors will be. The five skills important to being an effective mentor are self-awareness (discipline), questioning techniques, listening skills, empathy, and feedback skills. • If a Marine's actions are not true to the values of our Corps, they should not be mentoring subordinate Marines. • Effective mentors should set a good example, in everything they do on duty, leave, and liberty. • A mentor must know their own values and be able to assess their Marines as the mentor is the primary counselor, guide, and teacher to the Marines under their care. • Most importantly, a mentor must have and display a genuine concern for their Marines.Each Marine, with the mentor's assistance, must truthfully perform a self-assessment to identify both strengths and weaknesses. The only way to self improvement is through the process of critical self analysis as no
one knows the Marine better than themselves. The mentor should guide the Marine through this assessment while letting them come up with their own answers. Look at past performance, performance evaluations, MOS school standings, MOS certifications, and other performance indicators such as leadership traits and principles. • What are your three best leadership traits? • How did you apply them this month? • What are your three worst leadership traits? Examine criteria for advancement. What service schools, voluntary education courses, distance education courses, billets, and other improvement opportunities are important to the Marine's career advancement? Once strengths and weaknesses are examined, a listing is made of areas for improvement,and goals can be formed. Both the mentor and the Marine must be able to adequately express to each other the messages they want to get across. Interpersonal communication is a dynamic, never-ending, two-way process that is oriented toward the receiver. Messages are written and spoken, verbal and non-verbal, and the receiver must listen, read, reflect, and respond. To avoid creating barriers in the mentoring connection, it is better for the mentor to avoidbeing authoritarian, admonishing, threatening, or too critical and negative. The mentor must strike the right balance between being overly harsh and coddling the Marine. Feedback is necessary for any communication loop to develop and operate properly. Encourage the Marine to discuss what is working and what is not. Mentors should be in a position to understand and observe the Marine to provide input and guidance.The mentor and the Marine look at the Marine's strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan to use educational and professional opportunities to develop necessary skills and professional attributes in the Marine.