Let Trust THRIVE In The Mentoring Relationship
What is it that you and I need to know about each other
- Aspects like Education, vocation, passion i.e. hobbies, interests, strengths and areas of development
- The mentor can discuss her blind spots and professional strengths
- The mentor and mentee can have an open discussion about the fact that they may come across each other’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses during these conversations and these conversations certainly cannot be discussed in public
Why are we into it i.e. the mentoring relationship
Both Mentee and Mentor arrive at a (this is relevant more for the Mentee) rather deep understanding of the rationale
The Why defined better
What is the objective the Mentee wants to work on.Are there any rough and ready outcomes that we are looking at i.e. career development , developing a particular skill. How will success look like?
Let me illustrate the Trust formation process with an example:
I had to mentor sometime back a key millennial talent for a prestigious company Global program that helps them kick start a global career. The program has very stiff competition with lot of written tests and interviews and our mentee had little time given the nature of his role where he was working across 3 time zones.
How was trust formed in this Mentoring relationship?
I have described here the key steps along with the important behaviors and traits that enabled the trust formation process
- The mentee and I defined the mentoring objective immediately with a time-frame around it (commitment to action and drive to excel)
- We introduced each other and shared our strengths and areas of development. As a mentor and so called senior leader I was more open with my weaknesses and blind spots as it helped the mentee to be comfortable with me.(openness and authenticity)
- I was thoroughly involved in the mentee’s progress and was highly committed to him achieving the coveted position. The mentee too was deeply focused and sincere and was willing to go that extra mile to achieve his desired objective. As I reflect today we were like 2 inspired revolutionaries quite determined to achieve the objective and bring the desired change !!(chemistry matching)
- I shared with him the challenges involved in long distance mentoring and said that we will have to leverage technology to the fullest for the same(commitment to action)
- We were open and flexible with respect to calendar and availability (respect)
- I always shared the pre read before each mentoring session so that we could come to the point in a short span of time (commitment to action)
- We had follow up actions to do with timelines and if the mentee was not able to complete it he told me before hand (commitment to action & professional integrity)
- I always checked with the mentee through a series of questions if he had done the work assigned to him (drive to excel)
- The selection process involved interviews sometime at short notice so I was available for quick chat with the mentee at short notice as his matter needed my urgent attention(commitment to action and drive to excel)
- We went beyond the formal brief of the mentoring and even discussed our hobbies, interests etc. Lo and behold there were a lot of commonalties. This formed an informal bond and also helped build a mutually respectful and trustworthy relationship (values, faith)
- There were challenges on the way in terms of timing, availability but as mentioned earlier we were open and flexible with respect to our calendars and respectful of each other’s requirements . There was no barrier of hierarchy , age , gender etc. and in the end it almost seemed like 2 good friends talking to each other on important and interesting matters!!
Our single minded pursuit of excellence coupled with other essential ingredients like mentoring contract, authenticity, commitment to action, integrity and mutual respect ensured that we build the architecture for a strong mentoring relationship!! Keen to know the status of our mentoring relation today? Now that our mentee has achieved his goal our relationship still continues to well ensure that he succeeds in his new role!!