Tips for Mentors and Mentees

Mentors inspire, encourage, and support you, and contribute to your professional and personal development. You can expect to strengthen and build your network, and gain the skills and confidence necessary to excel.

Tips for Mentors and Mentees

Great mentees:

  1. Take a PROACTIVE role in shaping the mentoring relationship
  2. Understand what they want from the relationship and communicate their goals and aspirations with their mentor. 
  3. Set aside time for the mentoring process and keep all scheduled appointments.
  4. Use their meeting times wisely and come prepared with questions.
  5. Respond in a timely manner to their mentor's feedback. 
  6. Are open and honest about their challenges and weaknesses. 
  7. If something concerning the mentor needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.

Poor mentees:

  1. Ask for advice on everything (don't have a purpose in each request).
  2. Blame the mentor if his or her advice doesn't work out.
  3. Expect the mentor to know all the answers.
  4. Commit to obligations they cannot keep.
  5. Cancel meetings/visits at the last minute.

Great mentors:

  1. Set aside a few hours each month for their mentees and honor their appointments.
  2. Take responsibility to initiate the mentoring relationship.
  3. Invite the mentee to other events and activities, as appropriate. 
  4. Arrange frequent contact through telephone, email, fax, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate.
  5. Keep information confidential. If something concerning the mentee needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
  6. Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
  7. Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.

Poor mentors:

  1. Criticize.
  2. Try to give advice on everything.
  3. Encourage mentees to be totally dependent on them.
  4. Talk about their problems (beyond using personal examples as constructive contributions).
  5. Leave mentees "hanging" without notification or updating their availability.