7 FAQs on Mentoring

by | Dec 28, 2017

The Mumbai launch of THRIVE : Mentoring for success on 5th Jan, 2018 attracted a panel of senior practitioners who have agreed to dedicate their time and energy to the initiative.

As I am travelling across India this week, I came across women from very diverse backgrounds who wanted to know more about Mentoring and about THRIVE.

Here’s a quick FAQ I wrote to create a shared understanding for all.

1. What is Mentoring?

The mentoring relationship is a collaborative partnership between a mentor, who is seen to have greater knowledge, skills and experience, and a mentee who is seeking to increase one or all of these areas.

It is an equal relationship of trust, guidance and support.

2. What is a Mentor?

A mentor facilitates personal and professional growth in an individual by sharing the knowledge and insights that have been learned through the years. A mentor usually has the qualities of experience, perspective and distance, challenging the mentee and using candor to force re-examination and reprioritization.

Great mentors have a knack for making us think we are better than we think we are. They force us to have a good opinion of ourselves, let us know they believe in us. They make us get more out of ourselves, and once we learn how good we really are, we never settle for anything less than our very best.

3. What is a Mentee?

A Mentee is a self-motivated individual seeking to continuously learn for personal and professional development through the experiences, advice, coaching, and role-modeling of the mentor who has ‘been there, done that’. A Mentee recognizes personal strengths and weaknesses and actively seeks methods to modify or continue current behaviors for growth.

4. What are the benefits of mentoring for the Mentor?

  • Refreshes a mentor’s skills and experience
  • New insights into own working relationships
  • Satisfaction of seeing someone else grow
  • Opportunity to be challenged
  • Opportunity to take time out, reflect, gain fresh perspective

5. What are the benefits of mentoring for the Mentee?

  • Guidance and fresh perspective
  • A safe space to try out new ideas
  • Help with problem solving
  • Improved skills
  • Greater self-confidence
  • Access to networks and resources

6. What does a Mentor do?

A successful Mentor supports professional growth and personal fulfillment for the Mentee. In the service of that mission, successful Mentors:

  1. Develop and manage the Mentoring relationship
  2. Sponsor the Mentee’s developmental activities
  3. Guide and counsel
  4. Teach
  5. Model effective leadership behavior
  6. Motivate and inspire
  7. What does a Mentee do?

Effective Mentee behaviors

  • Takes initiative in forming the relationship
  • Discusses current and foreseeable challenges to projects/tasks
  • Is open and honest
  • Is willing to evaluate and discuss strengths and areas of opportunity
  • Actively listens
  • Is open to give and receive feedback
  • Is willing to try new behaviors as a result of the Mentoring process
  • Is able to create and implement a plan to enhance professional growth and personal fulfillment
  • Creates each meeting’s agenda (action items, progress and potential next steps)
  • Documents key takeaways

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