Mother was Right
My mother always said "If you're going to do something, do it right the first time." Mentoring can be very taxing, but it is worth the effort. Talk with your mentor today about any areas in which you might be lacking - he or she might be able to see something you can't.
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.
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.
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Coaching and Mentoring are fundamentally different processes. Do you know what sets them apart?
Mentors Shouldn't Overexert Themselves
The world doesn't have enough dedicated, hard working mentors. As a mentor, it's great if you put a lot of effort into your protégé. However, don't overstep your limits when it comes to mentoring. Every mentor should have the right to their own personal time: don't let your mentoring relationship rule your life. Try to find a good balance when it comes to mentoring, and make sure that you are spending the appropriate amount of time with your mentee.
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Figure Out Who
Deciding who you want your mentor to be is the first and most obvious step. Decide what you hope to accomplish with a mentor, and look for individuals who will be best able to assist you in accomplishing those goals. Remember, mentors can be found in your workplace, school, non-profits, and even your family. Once you have found your ideal person, it's time to move on to the next step.
Set Up a Meeting
When you get a chance, ask your potential mentor if you can set up a time to meet and discuss possible mentorship. During the meeting make sure and let him or her know why you think he or she would be a great mentor. Discuss why you want to be mentored, and what you hope to accomplish. If your mentor agrees that a mentoring relationship would be a good idea, you're set!
Clarify Goals and Commitments
Before you begin your mentoring relationship, it's essential that you clarify goals and commitments. When and how often will you meet? About how long do you expect the relationship to last? What exactly are the goals that you hope to accomplish? By beginning the relationship well prepared, you will be more likely to finish it successfully.
Work With Your Mentor On Your Resume
Your resume is the first thing that your employer reads about you, so it's essential that it creates a good impression. Mentors can be a great resource for resume improvement; work with them to make sure that your resume shows you in your best light. Don't forget to update your LinkedIn profile to match any changes that you make!
More Mentoring Activities
We've provided lists of mentoring activities before, but here's another great one that we found online. Varying what you do with your mentor or protégé can help make your mentoring experience more rewarding and interesting. This list provides a number of great ideas to help you on your mentoring journey: http://www.gtmentorjackets.com/activities
Seize Mentorship Moments
Throughout your day there are countless opportunities for mentoring, the trick is being able to recognize and act on them. Any time in which you interact with another more experienced individual, such as in an elevator, after a meeting, or in the hall, can be transformed into a "mentorship moment". Take advantage of these moments to help you learn how to further your academic or career goals.
Make Mentoring Part of Your Schedule
A key to successful mentoring is frequency. Regularly schedule meetings with your mentor or mentee, and try to make mentoring a routine. Treat mentoring as part of your job and not an extra activity; making mentoring a priority will guarantee a more successful mentoring relationship.