Effective Mentoring Relationships
The Mentor-Mentee Relationship
The role of a mentor is to aid the mentee in reaching his goals. While the mentor can certainly learn a lot from teaching and leading others, the relationship between the mentor and the mentee should be mentee-centered. So the mentor should listen, guide, and even challenge the mentee to do his best in his job.
The mentorship program requires frequent contact between the mentor and the mentee for the communication line to remain open. Mentoring is an interactive relationship wherein both parties can contribute to each other's grow as a person. You should take note that mentoring is far different from counseling and neither is it being buddies because mentoring is a tool that is used for personal and professional development.
Formal and Informal Mentoring
Anyone can be a mentor or a mentee without joining any mentoring program. For example, just riding a bus and then conversing with a stranger can be a form of mentoring if you learn something important from him; this type of mentoring is known as informal mentoring. Informal mentoring usually just occurs even if you don't plan it, this can be just as important as a formal mentoring program.
On the other hand, formal mentoring is having an acknowledged relationship between the mentor and the mentee. Formal mentoring would require the commitment of time and effort between the two parties so that they can share and learn from each other. This type of mentoring program can be for a specific project or for a specified time period.
Finding a Mentor
Having the wrong mentor can be even worse than having no mentor at all. For this reason, everyone should take the time and effort to look for a mentor that will suit their needs, personality, and learning style. You need to look within yourself and the environment around you; then, ask yourself what you really want to learn. Oftentimes, you need to consider the following questions before deciding on a mentor:
• Would the mentor provide me with good and accurate information?
• Would he support me in reaching my goals and objectives?
• Would he respect my dreams, my decisions, and my goal in life?
• Would he challenge me when it is necessary?
• Can the mentor actually be trusted?
• Am I willing to listen to this mentor's ideas and suggestions?
Asking these questions before you commit to a mentoring program is essential for you to reap the best possible benefit. It is also important to have a clear communication line between you and the mentor. Even at the start of the mentoring program, you already need to specify your expectations and your goal so that the mentor will know which direction to take.
Ending the Mentoring Program
However, all good things must come to an end. You cannot continue with the mentoring program forever; sure, you can still communicate with your mentor from time to time but being in a commitment to be each other's mentor and mentee can become more like a burden rather than a privilege after the mentoring program ends.
Both parties should acknowledge what they have learned and thank each other for the time and effort that the person has spent for another's well-being. Even after the mentoring program ends though, the mentor can still support the mentee and be there for the mentee when he is needed.