Corporate Mentoring Tips: For the Mentor, Mentoree, and Program Manager

Even the most successful mentoring programs need to shake it up from time to time with new ways of looking at things. And that's the inspiration behind this month's newsletter. We hope you enjoy these practical, easy-to-remember (and visualize) tips.

Mentors: One of the things I tell mentors in my training classes is to remember that they don't manage the mentoree. Rather, they facilitate their development. So here's how to facilitate your relationship:

Facilitate, don't manage.
Attend to your mentoree's developmental needs.
Consider asking questions instead of giving answers.
Impart your wisdom in small doses--a little goes a long way.
Let the mentoree develop in his or her own way--don't clone.
Involve your mentoree in arriving at solutions.
Take and protect the time to meet and interact with your mentoree.
Attend to what is happening in your discussions to better determine how you can help.
Tell the mentoree that you're committed to helping him or her.
Enjoy watching your mentoree grow with your help.

Mentorees: The whole purpose behind mentoring is for the mentoree to develop in partnership with the mentor. So here are some tips on how to develop:

Discover your potential by being open and honest with your mentor.
Expect to do most of the work because it's your career.
Vision your future and involve your mentor in that vision.
Encourage yourself to get the most out of this opportunity--don't be lazy!
Learn from your mentor, but remain who you are.
Often thank your mentor for the help you receive.
Prepare to mentor others as a way of giving back.

Program Managers: The role of program managers is critical to a program's success because the support provided helps in creating and maintaining effective mentoring relationships. Here are some tips to support your pairs:

Share useful resources that assist pairs in their work.
Understand that mentoring is primarily about having a meaningful relationship, not just accomplishing objectives.
Provide training to both mentors and mentorees so that they are on the same page.
Prepare to keep pairs honest about their commitments to each other.
Often "check-in" with pairs to offer support and ensure the relationship is working.
Resist the temptation to "solve" everyone's problems by encouraging pairs to resolve their own issues.
Take the time to match properly as it will pay off in the long run.

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