Fostering a strong and positive mentoring partnership can lead to invaluable insights and experiences for both parties. However, this type of relationship does not occur instantaneously. It takes time, and good practices. This is a guide to engaging in the best practices for good mentor-mentee relationships.
1. Actively engage in mentorship + open communications
This applies to both mentors and mentees. It’s not the mentor’s job to motivate the mentee to want to learn. The mentor is an established professional in their field and it is up to the mentee to make an effort to engage with them. Mentors are hugely valuable assets to a burgeoning business and should be utilised by the mentee as such. Likewise, a mentee should not have to relentlessly pursue their mentor to engage with them. Mentors should make themselves available to mentees and take a real interest in how well their mentee is progressing and learning. Mentors should only take on a mentorship if they have the enthusiasm to engage with their mentee. MentorPitch provides several tools to engage in mentorships. Using direct messages, video chat and the text chat area of the mentorship, both parties can engage in their mentoring relationship whenever they like. Mentors and mentees should use this tool every few days to update each other and engage in conversations regarding their mentorship. Open communications should be maintained at all times.
2. Setting goals/objectives and progress levels
Mentors and mentees should set goals in their mentoring relationship and should both be clear about what they want to achieve and how they want to achieve it. Both parties in a mentorship should make sure that they are on the same page in terms of the goals and objectives that they are trying to achieve and what they are trying to learn. The mentee can highlight areas they wish to develop and set levels of expertise from the start of the mentorship and update levels as it progresses.
3. Meetings online and in person
Meeting online on the MentorPitch platform is hugely beneficial to the mentoring relationship as it keeps the mentorship momentum going and keeps a focus on the objectives. Mentees are likely to open up and be more objective about achieving their goals online. When possible, mentors and mentees should try to engage in at least one face to face meeting. A face to face meeting can really help mentors and mentees to warm up to each other and can help to create strong and positive mentoring relationships. MentorPitch allows users to create meetings online and in person. Simply add a meeting in your mentorship with a title, agenda and time to meet at. The video chat area creates a private chat room between the mentor and the mentee. When a meeting moves from current to past – the mentor can then send feedback to the mentee and the mentee can rate the mentor meeting.
4. Feedback + honesty
Feedback is important when the mentee uploads a document or prepares a piece a work in the activities or projects area of the mentorship. Honesty is an important ingredient of a mutually beneficial mentorship. Mentors and mentees should never be afraid to give honest feedback to each other. A mentorship will not be fully beneficial to both parties if they are walking on egg shells, too apprehensive to say what they really mean. Honesty in a mentorship is important as it allows participants to help get the most out of it. If the other participant is doing or not doing something that is detrimental to a mentee’s development, then honesty is the best approach to getting back on the right track. MentorPitch allows for mentors to provide feedback to mentees and mentoring managers on meetings and allows mentees to rate the mentor meetings for the mentoring manager. An honest approach is the best approach when using these tools, and will help participants to get the most out of a mentorship.
And lastly, a good practice to help to foster a good mentorship is the practice of respect. Mentees should respect that a mentor is giving up their valuable time to help them to develop and learn. They have no obligation to engage in a mentorship and yet are happy to engage with mentees and help them to develop and grow. Likewise, mentors should respect that mentees have done all of the work to get to where they are. They have shown true ingenuity and hard work in developing as a professional. They should never be treated in a condescending manner or talked down to. Respecting each other and treating each other as equals is one of the most important steps towards a strong and mutually beneficial mentorship.