Mentoring Relationships That Work – Six Key Ingredients


Formal and informal mentoring programs are increasingly seen as important mechanisms for supporting leadership development programs, promoting succession pools, and building talent within organizations at both the junior and senior levels.

Mentors can play an important role in helping organizations provide unique insights about how to actually work, share practical stories about key trends in an industry and their own lessons learned from their careers can do.

Many times mentors and mentees / proteges are thrown together and fail to form their mentoring relationship. This article provides a mentor to the seven core areas and can focus on menti on to create a more focused and effective relationship.

The six key ingredients for mentoring success include:

1. Think about what you want. Both mentor and mentor can benefit from doing some pre-work and thinking that they want to get out of the mentoring relationship. It is often thought that mentors gain the most, but successful mentoring relationships point to a two-sided process, where mentors also benefit.

Questions to consider before the first mentoring meetingWhat advice do I want to get out of the relationship? What do I bring to the mentoring relationship? (Skills, questions, insights, stories) What are my expectations?

2. Establish clear boundaries. It is important to establish clear boundaries for mentoring relationships and interactions. How often are you going to meet? When? Where? How can you be contacted and at what time of day or night? It is amazing how there are some fights advising relationships that lead to a lack of clarity around boundaries.

Questions to ponder: What do I see as my role? What are my expectations? Which areas expand? What are my boundaries around meetings? (Time, location, frequency) When and how to contact me (email, phone) What is a middle ground for both of us?

3. Create meaningful and relevant goals. Spend time during the first meeting when the mentor identifies what their goals are for the mentoring relationship. What is it that they want out of the conversation. Wherever possible, encourage Mentor to make SMART goals (specific, measurable, available, relevant and time bound). During your talk, look back at these goals and check the progress that the mentee is making with them.

4. Create a Mentoring Roadmap. Having an agenda, or a roadmap, where you want your conversations to move forward will help maximize the time you have. “What do we want to talk about today?” Can avoid the awkward silence.

Based on the goals of Mentis, it would be beneficial to identify several themes / topics that Mentally wants to gain insight around. Schedule these topics in the meetings you allocate. For example, meeting two may focus on industry trends, three focus on time management, four on learning the biggest lessons, and five may focus on technical issues.

5. follow through. Successful mental relationships are formed on the basis of trustworthy and open communication. Follow through is an important part of trust. Works both ways. What have you done as a protege? What steps have you taken, will you be responsible for this? As a mentor, what do you need to follow? What has the information, resources or contacts you provided indicated to you?

6. Check in on the way. This can be very useful for examining how mental interactions are going and making adjustments as needed.

There are three questions to be asked at the end of every mentoring conversation.: What was useful about our conversation today? What are your next steps? What will you do / learn / learn before our next conversation? What changes should we make for our next conversation, or what areas do we want to focus on?

Incorporating many of these questions into your planning and mentoring conversations can add impact and benefit to both mentors and proteges, creating a stronger relationship.

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