There are three important areas that should be considered when matching pairs in a professional mentoring program.
1. Professional developmental areas that the mentoree wishes to explore with the mentor. These may often be called competencies. The purpose in matching on this basis is to provide a focus to the pair. Without a concrete plan of action, the pairs will flounder or waste valuable time in trying to build the relationship.
2. Personality characteristics so that there is some compatibility in engaging with one another. Asking questions like:
- Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
- Describe the type of person you would want as a mentor or mentoree?
- What are some personality "turn offs" for you that would make it difficult for you to work with a mentor or mentoree?
Most people can work with most other people but what you're trying to discover is what characteristics in a mentor or mentoree would prevent a relationship from occurring or which characteristics would enhance the potential for a relationship between a given pair.
3. Proximity to one another is also an important consideration. By this I mean long distance relationships. Because of our global economy and technology, we are now able to mentor from across the world. This is great but before matching people far apart I always consider:
- Matching by keeping the miles between mentor and mentoree as minimum as possible
- Ensuring that when I have to match from far away-say, Boston, MA in the USA with someone in Dubai, that Skype is used to bring a face-to-face experience and/or pairs come together physically for an initial training/meeting. Another option is to match long distance but with the opportunity to meet at various points throughout the relationship by attending joint meetings.
Keeping each of the three considerations above in your deliberations will maximize the potential to create good relationships when matching pairs in a professional mentoring program.
For additional mentoring resources, check out our FREE white paper The Well Leveraged Mentoring Program for strategies on getting the most out of your organization's mentoring program.
Image Credit: © Otmar Smit | Dreamstime.com