Business Mentoring Matters

Keeping Balance in a Mentoring Relationship

Posted on Mon, Dec, 05, 2011

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy." -John Mason

mentoring relationship

We all struggle with the need to be truly ourselves while at the same time, being able to adapt to a group and engage with others.  It's a balancing act. At one end is the social misfit and at the other end is the complete conformist. That struggle can also play itself out in mentoring.

As a mentoree, we can defer too often to our mentor for fear of offending, having too much admiration, or by expecting our mentor to always have the correct advice/ideas/suggestions.  Or, we can resist a mentor's shared information by viewing it as overbearing or controlling.  

The way to keep the balance is to be aware of how we feel when we are with our mentor and to understand what triggers those feelings.


For example:

I feel like my mentor is too controlling...what does she do that makes me feel that way? Does she assign tasks to me without asking permission? Does her manner of speech make me feel like I'm being bossed around?

This information will be useful in providing feedback to your mentor on what you need changed in the relationship for it to be successful. However, before sharing that feedback, reflect on whether you are overreacting or reacting to your mentor because she reminds you of someone else and a previous situation.

Every relationship requires balance and this includes your mentoring relationship.

Tags: Mentoring Success, Mentors & Mentorees