Over the last few weeks, we've been talking a lot about how your communication style may dictate your mentoring relationship. There are many different approaches you can take when partaking in a mentoring relationship. In business mentoring relationships, we assert particular behavior when communicating. We revert to the style which works best for us. Becoming aware of our preferred style, especially when compared to our Mentoring Partner’s preferred style, provides crucial information about how each will be inclined to approach the mentoring relationship, present information, seek out and give feedback, and even draw conclusions about such things as charting the course, measuring progress, and evaluating success.
There is no one best style. As a matter of fact, each style is appropriate and desirable at different stages of the developmental relationship.
One communication style is the Self-Directed Style. This style says:
“You have the ability to do this; I’m here if you need me.”
The Self-Directed Style is most appropriate in the latter stages of the mentoring relationship when the mentee has gained sufficient knowledge and mastery of the subject. Moving to this style is a key indicator that the mentoring relationship has achieved its purpose and the mentee is ready to move on to another area of mastery or to end the relationship.