17 Jun 5 Ways You Can Build Healthy Relationships With Your Mentees
Posted at 14:18h in Mentoring, Personal Development by Mentor Africa Foundation 1 Comment
The oxford dictionary defines a mentor as an “experienced and trusted adviser”.
Although the roots of the mentoring practice are lost in ancient times, the earlier records show the Goddess Athena take on the appearance of a mentor to Telemachus in Greek mythology.
In present times, companies, schools and organizations like Mentor Africa Foundation or even private individuals have taken up the crucial duty of guiding, inspiring, motivating, coaching and molding the careers of younger people.
Mentors can provide opportunities, share useful insights about his or her own career path to help their mentees make better decisions, as well as provide guidance, accountability and emotional support.
A mentor may help with exploring career options, setting smart goals, building networks, and identifying resources.
While the concept of mentoring might seem simple and straightforward, the success of implementation is dependent on the kind of relationship established between mentor and mentee.
Here are five (5) ways mentors can build a healthy relationship with their mentees.
5 Ways Mentors Can Build Healthy Relationships With Their Mentees
1. Choose Your Mentee Carefully
When you decide to be a mentor you are wilfully giving away hours you could dedicate to anything else you want to build someone else.
So you need to choose your mentee carefully.
Feel free to do a mentee assessment.
Using our web and mobile application as one of our mentors, we advise you to go through your potential mentee’s profile to determine if they would be a good fit.
You can also assess mentees on key skills like thinking process, communication skills, organization and know their area of expertise.
Getting acquainted with their level of specialization will also inform you on whether you can provide the amount of guidance they need or provide you with insights on how to approach the relationship.
Choosing the right mentee is the most crucial step in building a healthy mentoring relationship.
2. Know Your Role as a Mentor
The role of a mentor is broken down into a concept called ‘The Three (3) C’s of Mentoring’ by Michelle Wright, communications manager at Bloomberg.
And they are;
- consultant and
As a mentor, your job is to listen and guide your mentee without absolving them the ability to make their own decisions.
Although it might seem easiest to give out all the answers to a puzzle you have already solved, but you need to allow your mentees make their own mistakes and learn from them.
You are a not a counselor. Like consultants hired for a specific job because of their wealth of knowledge; as a mentor, you should share your own business and career insights with your mentee so they can apply practical examples to the novel problems they are currently facing in their businesses or role.
In addition to all the guidance and constructive feedback provided by mentors, you should also provide support, motivation and some good old fashioned enthusiasm.
Starting a new business, taking on a new role or trying to advance on a desired career path can be stressful and it is always reassuring to know you have someone in your corner cheering you on.
Your role is to share expertise, advice accordingly and give encouragement.
3. Identify and Set Clear Goals
Goal setting is the bedrock of every successful mentoring relationship.
Although the duty of deciding what goals they hope to reach with the help of the mentoring relationship falls on the mentee, most mentees owing to their lack of experience do not know the best steps towards achieving said goals.
They need you, their mentor, to point them in the right direction.
You can help by simplifying what they intend to achieve.
Asking questions like “what problems are you experiencing your business/job?” can really help them figure out a direct bottleneck and build from there.
You can also help to adjust or check the feasibility of your mentee’s goals.
You should be able to help them set achievable goals and manage their expectations to prevent frustrating circumstances.
Furthermore, you can help determine a criterion for success, provide timelines and actionable strategies.
4. Open Communication
An in-depth study between 2013 – 2015 involving 50 mentors and 50 mentees found “open and authentic communication” to be critical to mentoring success.
Effective communication is a necessity in building a healthy mentoring relationship. Young people under your tutelage are still learning how to communicate effectively and will look to you for guidance.
You can help by practicing active listening, looking out for non-verbal communication, use active words and statements when passing your point, clarify your points by asking your mentees questions as you go to ensure they are following your pace and provide clarification when needed.
When using electronic means to communicate like the Mentor Africa Foundation app or emails try to check in with your mentee and reassure them that they can ask you questions as they may be unable to read your expressions and body language.
5. Strive for Mutual Benefit
Understandably, the prime beneficiary to a mentoring relationship is the mentee.
However, this does not remove the possibility of a true mutually beneficial relationship between mentor and mentee.A mentoring relationship can be fulfilling for both parties personally and professionally.
As a mentor, you stand to gain leadership skills, opportunity to improve your communication skills, learn different viewpoints on issues, improve your problem solving skills as a mentee can expose you to new problems that did not exist in your time, and both you and your mentee will gain ground in your professional journey.
To fully immerse yourself into your role you need to recognize the benefits accrued to you.
As a mentor, it is your role to guide, support and encourage your mentee. You are there as a trusted sage to channel a young mind safely through uncharted waters.
However, irrespective of the nature of your mentoring system, you should strive to create a relationship of mutual trust and respect. If you’re looking to begin a mentoring relationship of your own, please click here to meet mentees.