If You're a Mentor, Be Like Yoda
From "6 Things Great Mentors Do Differently" by Sujan Patel:
Great mentors invest in the success of their mentees and, often, that means pushing them beyond their expectations. An article from Kauffman Entrepreneurs ties this one back to one of pop culture's greatest examples of mentorship, the Star Wars character, Yoda:
"Yoda sets out one challenge after another for Luke to help Luke manage himself better, hone his skills and more fully appreciate his responsibilities to use The Force for good."
Takeaway: If you're a mentor, be like Yoda. Always expect more from your mentees. They may not know what they're capable of otherwise.
Read more here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289021
Maintaining Dignity, Respect, Professionalism and Ethical Treatment in a Mentoring Relationship
"Maintain high standards of ethics and professionalism: Mentors and mentees must strive to uphold appropriate ethical behavior as professionals."
Best practices for ethics and professionalism in a mentoring realtionship:
- Promote mutual respect and trust
- Maintain confidentiality
- Be diligent in providing knowledge, wisdom, and developmental support
- Carefully frame advice and feedback so it is well-received and constructive
From Amy Greil's "A Story of Mentoring" found online at http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/amy_greil_a_story_of_mentoring_493097750.php
Taking Initiative to Plan Meetings
In your mentoring relationship, try to take initiative by contacting your mentor or mentee first to plan a meeting. Once your meeting time is set, don't change it unless an emergency arises. This shows that you respect the relationship, and that you value your mentor's/mentee's time and presence.
Mentee: Listen. Ask if you can observe your mentor’s practice if he/she is local.
Mentor: Engage in your own learning while you are mentoring, collaborate on projects, ask questions and experiment.
(From "Ten Tips for a Successful Mentor/Mentee Relationship" https://www.amtamassage.org/mentor/Ten-Tips-for-a-Successful-Mentor-Mentee-Relationship.html)
Mentoring People Who Aren't Like You
"It took me years to understand this basic dynamic: Those who look less like me might find it hard to share their concerns with me or ask for help. They might feel uncomfortable raising their hand if they aren’t sure I will identify with them. And it’s on me, as the leader, to help close that gap."
-Richard Farnell in his article "Mentor People Who Aren't Like You" from the Harvard Business Review
Helping your Mentee Trust Their Own Judgment
"Being a sounding board for your mentee, allowing them to discuss the situation with you, then helping them to think through the situation by asking them questions to draw out the consequences of various actions, is always more empowering for a mentee than advising them what to do. It helps them work through the issue and come to their own conclusions. By doing so, you ultimately help them to learn to think through issues themselves and trust their own judgment, both valuable life skills."
-From "10 Ways to be a Good Mentor" by Blue Sky Coaching.
Read the full PDF version here: https://www.blueskycoaching.com.au/pdf/v4i10_mentor.pdf
At the beginning of a mentoring relationship, make sure to talk to your mentee/mentor about your expectations, and what you would like to get out of the relationship. This will help you decide whether or not the relationship will be well-suited and mutually beneficial. However, keep in mind that you can learn things from your mentee/mentor that you may not have expected!
Verbal and Nonverbal Messages
Make sure to observe your mentee's nonverbal body language, but do so respectfully and carefully. This will help you understand what they are thinking and feeling, apart from what they communicate to you orally.