BUILDING EFFECTIVE MENTORING PARTNERSHIPS

Mentoring...What is it?

Definitions You Need to Know

Now that you understand what mentoring is and how it supports an individual in their personal and professional develop, we will examine the definition, role and characteristics of a mentor and a mentee.

Definition of a mentor

A mentor facilitates personal and professional growth in an individual by sharing the knowledge and insights that they learned through the years. A mentor's purpose is to be a role model, a coach, a broker, and an advocate.

Role Model : A role model is a person so effective in a professional or personal way that he or she is a model for others. Since a mentor's behavior will influence their mentee's behavior, they should consider how they would appear if their actions were videotaped over a day. Would they be proud of themselves and of their mentee if they emulated the mentor's behavior?

Coach : Mentoring includes being supportive of the mentee's ideas; but it also requires acknowledging the strengths and helping the mentee to see the weaknesses in their ideas and overcome any shortcomings.

Broker : Mentees look to their mentors to help increase their contacts in their chosen profession. That means that the mentor must be skilled in building a network of individuals to whom they can go to help their mentees. Once they know the mentee's career goals, they can draw upon their established peer relationships to get the additional information or resources that their mentee needs.

Advocate : Mentors serve as cheerleaders for their mentees, offering positive feedback to the mentee and to others about their work. Mentors need to acquire a reputation for being genuine and sincere with their praise by citing specific instances in which their mentee demonstrated his or her potential.

Defining Effective and Ineffective Characteristics of a Mentor

Effective Characteristics Spot the Potential & Believe in Others
Effective mentors have a positive view of others that greatly increases how much learning can be transferred.

A Networked & Resourceful Guide
Effective mentors enjoy a positive reputation and are held in high regard. They act as a repository of information and provide just-in-time learning.

Display Patience and Tolerance
Effective mentors allow mentees to make mistakes and use the mistakes as opportunities to teach/learn.

Give Encouragement
Effective mentors possess the ability to build up mentees' self-esteem and encourage them.

See the Big Picture
Effective mentors have a larger perspective that helps them generate useful suggestions and bring up points that the mentee would otherwise not consider.

If you are forgetful, fail to return phone calls, miss scheduled meetings, or are not accessible in an hour of need, then you are too busy to be a mentor.

Ineffective Characteristics Too Busy to Mentor
Being busy does not have to kill a mentoring relationship; however, being too busy will.

Use the Mentee as Help
Instead of having the mentee's best interests at heart, you pass on responsibilities, assignments and loads of extra work that you do not want to do.

Overly Critical
If you are a criticizing mentor, you always point out why something is wrong. You feel that your position gives you a right to point out mistakes—all of them.

Not with the Times
You do not keep pace with the times and do not know the current trends of your field. In today's fast-paced information world, mentees need mentors who are keeping pace with the times.

Ego Striving
If you feel it might endanger your spotlight if your mentee becomes more successful than you do, then mentoring is not for you. Always having to be a notch up on the mentee will interfere with the free sharing of learning.

WORKBOOK ACTIVITY FOR MENTORS ONLY
You should have already printed out your Mentoring Workbook from the link on the Introduction page. If not, please do so now.

Locate and complete the exercise titled "Mentor Readiness Assessment." Rate yourself on each characteristic, as we have just defined them.

Based on the results of your assessment, you should be able to know if your are ready to become a mentor or not. If not, please indicate, in the space provided on the worksheet, how you would prepare yourself for accepting this role.


Definition of a Mentee

A mentee also known as a protege, refers to the less experienced person who is receiving and benefiting from the acquired wisdom and years of practice of the more experienced individual.

Defining Effective and Ineffective Characteristics of a Mentee
Effective Characteristics Goal-Oriented
Effective mentees place a high value on setting and accomplishing goals.

Seek Challenges
Effective mentees are not satisfied with status quo and are vocal about wanting and accepting new challenges.

Take Initiative
Effective mentees do not wait for others to notice them or their abilities and are willing to initiate a positive learning activity.

Show Eagerness to Learn
Effective mentees are curious about what they do not know and are able to ask for assistance or resources when faced with uncertain circumstances.

Accept Personal Responsibility
Effective mentees do not shift blame, procrastinate or become easily distracted, but readily admit and own failures and shortcomings.
Ineffective Characteristics Too Self-Promoting
Ineffective mentees are constantly positioning themselves or engaging in name-dropping.

Too Busy
Ineffective mentees have too much activity going on in their lives and will not give the mentoring relationship the proper time and attention required to be successful.

Lack Passion for Others' (Mentor's) Area of Expertise
Ineffective mentees do not show a personal drive to excel in other people's (mentor's) area(s) of mastery.

Lack Focus
Ineffective mentees hop from one thing to the next without fully committing to anything.

Overly Dependent
Ineffective mentees are overly needy for approval or require constant supervision, which is the job of the supervisor, not the mentor.



Mentoring relationships can go awry when the mentor expected the mentee to become a clone and discuss only what the mentor is interested in.



WORKBOOK ACTIVITY FOR MENTES ONLY

You should have already printed out your Mentoring Workbook from the link on the Introduction page. If not, please do so now.

Locate and complete the exercise titled "Mentee Readiness Assessment." Rate yourself on each characteristic, as we have just defined them.

Based on the results of your assessment, you should be able to know if your are ready to become a mentee or not. If not, please indicate, in the space provided, how you would prepare yourself for accepting this role.

 


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