It is such a wonderful feeling to see that many of your firms are taking REAL action steps towards creating a culture of mentoring within your firms, a culture that is “alive and healthy.” It is not just a document, laying on a shelf somewhere that some people follow and some don’t.
Here are Five Essentials to Successful Mentoring
In a successful mentoring connection, the mentor and the mentee must both want the relationship to work and be willing to commit time and energy to the process. Five elements are essential:
Respect: This is established when the mentee recognizes the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the mentor and when the mentor appreciates the success the mentee has reached to date and the mentee’s desire to develop to their full potential.
Trust: Mentors and mentees should build trust through communicating and being available, reliable, and loyal.
Partnership Building: The mentor and mentee are professional partners. Barriers that partnerships face may include miscommunication, an uncertainty of each other’s expectations, and perceptions of other people. In order to overcome these barriers, they should work together to maintain communication, address and fix obvious problems as they occur, examine how decisions might affect goals, and have frequent discussions on progress.
Realistic Expectations and Self Perception: A mentor encourages the mentee to have realistic expectations of the mentee’s capabilities, the amount of time and energy the mentor can commit to the relationship, and what the mentee must do to earn their support for his/her career development. The mentor gives honest feedback when discussing the mentee’s traits, abilities, talents, beliefs, and roles.
Time: Set aside the time to meet, even by e-mail or telephone. Don’t change times unless absolutely necessary. Control interruptions. Frequently “check in” with each other via informal telephone calls or by e-mail.
"Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction." - - John Crosby