Strategies for Effective Mentoring
Attitude Encourage your mentee to approach life and his or
her goals with enthusiasm, and to be accepting of self and others.
the mentee to establish a personal mission statement and goals.
Mindedness Encourage the mentee to keep an open mind to new
ideas. Create an atmosphere where mentees can learn from the mentorís
experience, mistakes and successes as well as learning from each
The interactions between mentor and mentee should involve sharing,
caring, and empathy. Ensure that your mentee is not intimidated
or over-influenced by your personality.
Problem Solving Encourage the mentee to use creative problem
Communication Encourage the mentee to be an attentive listener
and an assertive questioner. Do not assume that your mentee feels
satisfied with the relationship just because you are.
Encourage the mentee to be an independent thinker. Talk with the
mentee about their career interests and what they will need to
do to accomplish their goals. Avoid confining your menteeís growth
potential to your limitations.
and Uniqueness Encourage the mentee to recognize his or her
individual strengths and uniqueness and to build upon them.
Assist the mentee in developing self-confidence. Ask questions
to help mentee think through complicated projects instead of just
telling them what to do.
Stress that the mentee should be aware of the environment, be
intuitive, be problem-sensitive, be ready to make the most of
opportunities, learn the customs and policies, and to recognize
the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.
Encourage the mentee to be a risk-taker and an active participant,
not a spectator. Introduce the mentee to others at UW Oshkosh.
Share with the mentee the importance of being flexible and adaptable
in attitudes and actions, and urge him or her to look for alternatives
and see situations/persons from different perspectives.
It is important that total honesty and openness be displayed.
of Good Mentors
often select mentors who have demonstrated specific behaviors. Studies
have shown that the following behavior-related characteristics typify
their company and work
secure about themselves
sensitivity to menteeís needs
others and can be trusted
from the American Society for Training and Development)
for Mentors/The Trust Factor
longer the leader-follower hierarchy, mentoring is becoming a two-way
relationship where both parties learn, share, question, challenge,
and change. The foundation of these growth-enhancing activities
is a relationship of mutual trust. Trust can be built in some or
all of the following five key areas:
We seek the common ground of shared experience as a first step
in understanding one another and as a basis for communication.
This could include common background, interests, opinions, values,
people, or goals.
There must be an honest commitment to and interest in the other
person. This is best demonstrated by devoting time and by being
a sincere, active listener.
This means being dependable in who we are and what we do. It can
be experienced within the mentoring relationship and also observed
in dealings with others.
Individual skills and gifts are identified, evaluated and shared
with each other. Synergy is developed through sharing insights
and new ideas. Individual egos are put aside as help is freely
requested and given.
Respect for confidentiality must be given while maintaining a
careful balance with individual values. These expectations must
be established early in the relationship and reestablished as
situations present themselves. Define clear boundaries, since
recovery from failure to deliver on expectations can be difficult
temptation to project your own feelings about similar experiences
on your mentee. Donít try to solve problems for the mentee -- help
him/her develop alternative solutions with strengths and weaknesses
of each. Being an effective listener means listening non-defensively:
not "sympathy", when listening to your mentee. Sympathy
is essentially comparing your experience with anotherís: "Yes,
I felt that way, too, and let me tell you about it . . ." Empathy
means "walking in anotherís shoes," going with their thinking
and feeling in a nonjudgmental way. In demonstrating true empathy,
you have to get your own ego out of the way; you may have to listen
to ideas or feelings that you do not agree with.
- a willingness
to hear what you might not like
- not rejecting
otherís ideas just because you disagree with them
- trying to
grasp how ideas make sense to someone else even when they donít
the urge to talk or interrupt the speaker
- not debating
the speaker silently in your mind while he/she is talking
there is usually more than one way of looking at things
there are far fewer "facts" and far more uncertainties
and questions to be explored
- valuing the
exchange of ideas more than ideas themselves
- knowing that
if you donít listen, further communication is rather futile