the following pages are specific skills that can be used as part of
the mentoring relationship, and allow mentors to feel confident &
successful as they fulfill their expectations & the goals of their
mentees. These skills involve:
interpersonal communication between yourself and your mentee
listening to your mentee
commonality and connection between you and your mentee
the level of trust and communication between you and your mentee
your mentee to develop alternative solutions
the level of participation and personal responsibility of mentee
Advice . . . one of the important components of mentoring
is easy for a mentor to fall into the trap of having all the answers.
Dispensing information is often required; it's quick and easy and
may make you feel good about yourself as a mentor. But if you only
give advice, much of it fails to stick.
balancing act involves coaching your mentee to discover insight on
her/his own and also to give advice when you believe it is most needed.
for Giving Advice
- Give advice
only when your mentee has done some preliminary thinking on his/her
own, and only after you have listened carefully and thoroughly understand
the issue at hand. Don't jump at the chance to provide your insight
too early in the conversation.
- Don't give advice
only when your mentee sees you as the "answer person" who
has the golden piece of information. You both may get very used to
the idea of his/her asking and you answering.
- Give advice
when your mentee ask for and needs it. One of the most frustrating
mentor responses to the question, "What do you think I should
do?" is, "What do you think you should do?" It often
feels manipulative to the mentee; you apparently have an opinion but
for the sake of mentoring, you are withholding it.
- Provide direction
and give advice when your mentee is stuck. Then ask: "How do
you think my advice would apply to your situation?" The goal
is for the mentee to make the outcome his/her own. Your advice is
meant only to get him/her "unstuck."
- Try telling
a story which is a relevant example from your career or lifetime experience.
You may feel that telling a story would be interesting and appropriate
and that it would help illustrate a possible path for the mentee.
giving of advice can be your most appropriate mentoring action!