What are some of the things mentors do?
In my training, we discuss roles of mentors and mentorees. Below are some of the things that mentors do when working with their partner:
- Guide a mentoree in the specific topic/task/issue at hand. This guiding can take several aspects. A mentor can provide a roadmap if the issue is unfamiliar to the mentoree. Or perhaps the mentor can simply provide a listening ear if the mentoree has experience in the area and is only in need of validating what he/she is proposing to do.
- Assess a mentoree's strengths and areas for development. This can be done by working with the mentoree but, with permission from the mentoree, and without violating program guidelines. The mentor may also speak with a mentoree's colleagues to gain their perspective as well.
- Link the mentoree to important resources. This can involve books and professional associations. This may also include opening the mentor's networking connections and sharing those with the mentoree, as appropriate.
- Facilitate a mentoree's increased self-confidence. This is done by providing feedback on the areas of growth the mentoree is gaining through the mentoring relationship. In some respects this is probably the most significant impact that a mentor can have. Growth is not only limited to gaining expertise, but also growing as an individual and becoming whoever the mentoree seeks to be.
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