Successful mentor-mentee relationships should be fulfilling and beneficial for all involved. Use these ten tips for a more effective and productive relationship:
1. Keep communications open
Mentor: Help your mentee set realistic expectations. Also, if you know you will be unavailable because of business or personal travel, let them know.
Mentee: Be upfront. Let your mentor know what your goals are and what you hope to take away from the program.
2. Offer support
Mentor: Encourage communication and participation. Help create a solid plan of action.
Mentee: Remember that your mentor is there for you, but is only a guide.
3. Define expectations
Mentor: Help set up a system to measure achievement.
Mentee: Review your goals. Make sure your mentor knows what to expect from you.
4. Maintain contact
Mentor: Respond to your e-mails. Answer questions and provide advice, resources and guidance when appropriate.
Mentee: Be polite and courteous. Keep up with your e-mails and ask questions.
5. Be honest
Mentor: Be truthful in your evaluations, but also be tactful.
Mentee: Let your mentor know if you don’t understand something or have a differing opinion.
6. Actively participate
Mentor: Engage in your own learning while you are mentoring, collaborate on projects, ask questions and experiment.
Mentee: Listen. Ask if you can observe your mentor’s practice if he/she is local.
7. Be innovative and creative
Mentor: Share your ideas, give advice and be a resource for new ideas.
Mentee: Offer ideas on what activities and exercises you can do together.
8. Get to know each other
Mentor and Mentee: Remember that people come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Get to know each other on an individual basis.
9. Be reliable and consistent
Mentor and Mentee: The more consistent you are, the more you will be trusted.
10. Stay positive
Mentor: Recognize the work the mentee has done and the progress made.
Mentee: Remember that your mentor is offering feedback and not criticizing.
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