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Ten Tips for a Successful Mentor/Mentee Relationship

A successful mentor/mentee relationship should be fulfilling and beneficial for all involved. Utilize these ten tips for a more effective and productive relationship:

1. Keep communications open.

Mentee: Be up front. Let your mentor know what your goals are and what you hope to take away from the program.

Mentor: Help your mentee set realistic expectations. Also, if you know you will be unavailable because of business or personal travel, let them know.

2. Offer support.

Mentee: Remember that your mentor is there for you, but is only a guide.

Mentor: Encourage communication and participation. Help create a solid plan of action.

3. Define expectations.

Mentee:  Review your goals. Make sure your mentor knows what to expect from you.

Mentor: Help set up a system to measure achievement.

4. Maintain contact.

Mentee: Be polite and courteous. Keep up with your e-mails and ask questions.

Mentor: Respond to your e-mails. Answer questions and provide advice, resources and guidance when appropriate.

5. Be honest.

Mentee: Let your mentor know if you don’t understand something or have a differing opinion.

Mentor: Be truthful in your evaluations, but also be tactful.

6. Actively participate.

Mentee: Listen. Ask if you can observe your mentor’s practice if he/she is local.

Mentor: Engage in your own learning while you are mentoring, collaborate on projects, ask questions and experiment.

7. Be innovative and creative.

Mentee: Offer ideas on what activities and exercises you can do together.

Mentor: Share your ideas, give advice and be a resource for new ideas.

8. Get to know each other.

Mentee and Mentor: Remember that people come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Get to know each other on an individual basis.

9. Be reliable and consistent.

Mentee and Mentor: The more consistent you are, the more you will be trusted.

10. Stay positive!

Mentee: Remember that your mentor is offering feedback and not criticizing.

Mentor: Recognize the work the mentee has done and the progress made.

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