What is mentoring?
Mentoring is the sharing of knowledge and experiences between two people, which results in personal learning and growth. It exposes both the mentor and the mentee to colleagues they don't work with every day and opportunities to build skills that are critical to the mentee's success.
It is a relationship focused on the mentee's growth, development and capabilities. Through formal and informal discussions, mentors provide guidance and direction as the mentee makes career decisions and overcomes potential challenges.
A mentor helps the mentee navigate their career, and provides guidance on career options and competency growth.
- Provide support, advice, and encouragement to mentee
- Share your knowledge and experience
- Help mentee to overcome barriers, reach goals and take risks
- Be an active listener that builds trust and maintains confidence
- Willingness to commit time to meet with mentee – actual commitment should be defined at the beginning of the relationship
- Sincere interest in helping another colleague grow professionally and accomplish goals. Mentors should regard the role as an opportunity rather than an assignment.
- Strong interpersonal communication skills including the ability to listen and respond thoughtfully to others’ concerns and questions.
- Willingness and patience needed to provide guidance, coaching and constructive feedback as well as praise and encouragement.
- Ability to recognize strengths and weaknesses of the mentee to encourage a career in the "right fit" and not use personal biases to "mold" the mentee to fit what has worked for the mentor.
- Take ownership for your own development
- Be open to feedback
- Apply what you learn from your mentor
- Be honest about your goals and needs
- Proactively manage the mentor relationship
- Mentee should identify initial development and career goals. Be willing to discuss short and long-term career goals as well as obstacles and successes.
- Willingness to seek and be open to feedback. Share how it’s going.
- Follow through on commitments or renegotiate appropriately.
- The best mentoring relationships are characterized by honest, two-way exchange. You should let your mentor know our successes, as well as your failures.
- Being the driver of the process – scheduling meetings, setting goals, suggesting activities
The timeline below is a suggestion for how to proceed with the mentoring relationship.
- Introduce yourself; describe your role and ask them to describe their role
- Discuss your backgrounds, hobbies, etc.
- Discuss mentee’s perceived strengths and areas for growth
- Discuss the goals you each have for the relationship
- Set expectation for time commitment and meeting frequency; determine who is responsible for setting up meetings
After the first meeting
- Set or clarify goals and be sure to set realistic ones that the mentee can accomplish.
- Continue to communicate with your mentee and provide resources and feedback to help them grow.
- Review and revise goals and the relationship as needed.
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