How to Manage a Mentoring Relationship
Mentoring can be a challenging commitment. Here are a few ideas to help guide your relationship. Do not hesitate to contact the Program Coordinator if you run into any challenges along the way.
Set regular mentoring meetings
A mentoring relationship is one of mutual trust and respect. So meet regularly, and lead by example. The mentoring conversation may be informal, but treat the overall arrangement with formality and professionalism. If possible, conduct mentoring meetings away from the mentee's normal working environment. A change of environment helps remove the conversation from everyday perspectives.
Be honest and open
If you're not honest, a mentoring meeting will probably be a waste of time for both of you. Discuss current top issues or concerns. Sometimes an honest exchange leads to the mentor and mentee deciding that they don't really like or respect each other. It's better to know up front and build from this sort of understanding, rather than have it hurt the relationship.
Build sustainable improvements, not quick fixes
Use the mentoring session to exchange views and give the mentee guidance, and don't just give the mentee immediate answers to a problem. A simple answer to a problem is rarely as valuable as understanding how to approach such problems in the future.
Play by the rules
Establish some rules or a charter for the mentoring arrangement, with desired outcomes. This could be a set agenda for points to cover, or some performance goals for the mentee to pursue. (One of the key reasons that mentoring can fail is that there's a fundamental misunderstanding about what's expected from the mentor and mentee.)
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