Mentoring techniques – tips for mentees

The benefits of career mentoring

Whether you are starting out on your career path, contemplating retirement, or at any of the stages in between, you will constantly be coming across career challenges.

However, chances are there is someone out there who has been through similar challenges and can help you by providing sound guidance and inspiration on how to move forward.

Reach your true potential

The Harvard Business Review reported mentored executives earned

more money at a younger age, were better educated, more likely to follow initial career goals, and had higher career satisfaction. This isn’t all that surprising – experienced practitioners transferring wisdom is bound to have a positive effect.

Mentors can provide guidance and insight into many career development areas including:

How to enter industries and professions.

How to progress within industries and professions.

Specific job challenges.

Specific industry challenges.

How to move job roles and industries.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone who will encourage and support you to make the most of your career and yourself.

Although the final decisions are always in your hands, a mentor can be invaluable in guiding you to consider your options, get new information, identify the support you need and help you to make informed choices. A mentor can provide access to impartial, non-judgmental guidance and support.

It is a relationship in which the mentor and mentee work together to achieve predetermined goals and objectives.

A mentor is there to:

Guide you to look at a wide variety of options and consider alternative courses of action so as to solve problems for yourself, rather than to give answers or provide solutions.

Help you gain new personal skills, experiences and knowledge.

Help you to develop new attitudes and behaviour, and therefore improve both your personal and your business performance.

Release and develop your own resourcefulness – it is up to you to decide whether to use the information you receive from your mentor.

Mentors PULL – they don’t PUSH

A mentor never “pushes”, whether by telling, instructing or giving advice.

Mentor’s PULL –

They listen to understand.

They ask questions.

They will paraphrase and summarise discussions.

They can suggest options.

They will give feedback.

They can offer guidance.

They help you to solve your problems – but they won’t solve them for you.

Key skills of a mentee

  • Listening.
  • Questioning to clarify and make sure you have understood correctly.
  • Questioning to explore additional options and consequences.
  • Being prepared to act on what has been agreed with your mentor.

Establishing a successful relationship with your mentor

  • Once you have been matched with your mentor it is helpful to:
  • Draw up a timetable of regularly spaced meetings in advance.
  • Establish a set of ground rules to which you will both abide.
  • Keep notes of your meetings and use these as the basis for ongoing discussion.
  • Work towards developing a trusting relationship and establishing a good rapport with your mentor.
  • Aim at maintaining the relationship for as long as is appropriate to your needs.
  • Effective mentoring meetings provide a sense of purpose and achievement.
  • Making a mentoring relationship work

The mentoring process – the mentee’s role

  • Own and take responsibility for discussion content – don’t expect the mentor to solve your problems or provide quick fixes. Remain aware that the purpose of mentoring is to work on your professional development.
  • Be open to developing your self-awareness and to making changes.
  • Be open to what the mentor has to say and to their advice; this doesn’t mean you have to agree with it. It does mean you should receive it, reflect upon it and decide later whether you agree and whether to act on it.
  • Reflect between sessions on what has been discussed
  • If you do agree an action, then ensure you do it.

So if you think you could benefit from a mentor why not take a look at our mentoring program.