In order to build a lasting and trusting mentoring relationship, it is essential for the mentor and mentee to maintain a degree of confidentiality. A close and relatively private atmosphere will encourage frank and honest discussion between the mentoring pair.
Mentoring is a long term process, so in order to achieve best results, consistency is essential! Keep a schedule, and make sure that meetings occur regularly (once a week is often best). Be sure to communicate when you cannot make a meeting, and remain enthusiastic and professional throughout the mentoring process. Keeping your mentoring consistent will help ensure that you meet your goals, and that your mentoring relationship ends in success.
Mentors as Counselors
Due to the close nature of mentoring relationships, it's not uncommon for a mentee to ask a mentor for help with personal or emotional issues. As a mentor, listen carefully, and attempt to provide constructive and meaningful help. However, if the issue becomes too difficult to handle, don't be afraid to refer the mentee to professional help for further assistance.
Trust in the Mentoring Relationship
A good mentoring relationship is built upon mutual trust and respect. Although instantaneous trust would be nice, it often takes time for a strong relationship with mutual trust and respect to develop. Be patient with your partner, and good things will come.
The Benefits of Mentoring as Told by the Huffington PostRead More
Huffington Post writes about how mentoring benefits the lives of all in their article commemorating international mentoring day in January.
Read the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eli-wolff/international-mentoring-d_b_14206704.html?
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
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
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
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
5 Keys to Effective Entrepreneurial Team Mentoring
- "Be available always. If you are “too busy” most of the time or locked behind closed doors, no mentoring relationship can work. It has to be evident to the mentee that this relationship is important to you and that you will make short periods of time available on a moment’s notice, as required. If you often make people wait on you, they will likely take extra time, which in turn will make more people wait longer and later.
- Adapt to each individual learning style. Start by open listening. Some people learn best from anecdotal stories, and others need concrete pointers and step-by-step instructions. Respect each mentee’s desire to grow and honor their individual style. Remember that 5-minute listening is not the same as 5-minute mentoring.
- Respect discussion confidentiality. Mentor discussions must remain confidential so both parties can talk freely to each other without being quoted around the water cooler later. The mentee must not be afraid to show false starts or a naïve perspective.
- Provide honest and constructive feedback. Personal attacks and emotional comments are not appropriate, but people need real feedback to learn. Set the context by clarifying your goals and expectations on a regular basis. Critique the work and not the person.
- Hold the mentee responsible and accountable. Encourage the mentee to generate their own solutions, and make it clear that they must accept full responsibility for their personal choices. Good people won’t want it to work any other way. Most people learn best from making mistakes, so you have to let them fail sometimes."
From "5 Keys to Effective Entrepreneurial Team Mentoring" by Martin Zwilling on Alleywatch.