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.
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
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.
A Mentoring Garden
Mentors and mentees don't always have similar viewpoints on the fundamental issues that can arise during mentoring. A mentor's job isn't to clone his or her own ideas and implant them into the mentee's head. Instead, it is to give the mentee space and encouragement to grow their own ideas while exploring new points of view. Speak with your mentoring partner today about how you can open your mind to new ideas.
Communicating through Barriers
Communication can be difficult. The next time you find yourself in a communication bind, remember that everyone views the world through different eyes. What may be very clear to you could be out of focus for other individuals.
Curiosity won't Kill You
It is commonly thought that curiosity is a good way to get yourself into trouble, but this isn't always the case. Several studies have shown that those with a curious mind tend to go further in their career - they always find a way to make things happen. Talk with your mentor today about how you can be more curious. You never know what will come of it!
Go into your mentoring conversation with an idea of what you want to talk about. The mentor and the protégé should both prepare beforehand with questions and points that they want addressed.
Active listeners listen with energy. They sit up straight, takes notes, and ask questions. Active listening is essential in a mentoring relationship because it reduces confusion, increases mutual understanding, and shows respect for the other’s opinions.
On the Importance of Flexibility
Occasional random occurrences may prevent the mentor or the protégé from fulfilling their duties in the mentoring relationship. Keep communication open to help resolve such issues, and try to get back on track as soon as possible. Understand that interruptions and delays are a fact of life, and attempt to work around them!