Without a doubt, mentorships help people improve their knowledge and develop skills for the future. The mentor and mentee both benefit from this relationship. The relationship the two share is vital to creating a successful mentoring experience. So, how do you foster this relationship?
- Get to know each other
Like all relationships, a mentoring relationship will improve from getting to know one another. Become more familiar with each other’s interests and goals and talk about your expectations for the relationship. This knowledge will help create a more insightful, efficient and effective experience without any wasteful discussion.
- Set a schedule
Setting aside time for meetings is important. There should be some structure and understanding of how, when and how often you will meet. Dedicating part of their days to each other may also help the mentee and mentor stay present and attentive, giving them the best chance to learn and grow together. However, according to APA instruction, “Not every contact need be lengthy or weighty,” they can contain “small talk… necessary for establishing a relationship.”
The mentee can get the most out of their structured meeting time by preparing some questions and other ideas to share beforehand. The mentor can do the same by remembering learning situations and preparing to share stories with their mentee. Being prepared will help foster great discussion, and both parties will appreciate it. Farah Radzi of ADPList believes you should “Treat each session like a first date where both mentor and mentee are putting their best efforts to get as much information as possible.”
Be honest! Hearing what is good and bad about ideas nurtures better growth. Continually check in with each other. Mary Abbajay from Forbes, recommends asking each other, “How is this going for you? What’s been helpful? What hasn’t? What could I do differently to make this a more rewarding experience?”
Between meetings, reflect on what you have learned. Reflecting will help you remember more of the important points of the meeting and apply them later. It may also help you remember something unclear so you can ask for more clarification during the next meeting.
You, too, can nurture career-enhancing relationships at your business or organization with a Mentoring Certificate Program developed by UW-Green Bay to help you establish a mentoring framework designed for success. Only three sessions. Now enrolling. First session starts February 23.
Forbes. “Mentoring Matters: Three Essential Elements of Success.” Mary Abbajay. January 20, 2019.
APA. “Getting Your Mentoring Relationship Off to a Good Start.” 2008.
ADPList. “How To Build a Successful Mentor-Mentee Relationship?” Farah Radzi. December 22, 2021.
Writing/Research Credit: Benjamin Kopetsky, UW-Green Bay Marketing Intern