A mentor, simply defined, is someone who imparts wisdom and shares knowledge with someone with less experience and perhaps less exposure than what they have.

Mentors who are serious about their role make a commitment to help their mentees achieve individual and professional excellence. Mentoring may be formal or informal, but the expectations and roles should be defined and agreed to at the inception of the relationship.

Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight.

The Role of a Mentor

Part of the mentor’s role is to provide:

  • M eaningful feedback
  • E xplore perceptions of strengths and needs, supplemented with a development plan
  • N etworking opportunities are identified and leveraged
  • T rustworthy relationships are built and nurtured
  • O pen lines of communication are established
  • R ealistic expectations are identified and tracked

The role of a mentor is to help their mentees create and manage relationships and suggest networks that may be utilized and leveraged for growth. Business and professional organizations that have a shared vision with the mentee are a great start.

People and relationships matter! The existence of strong working relationships creates energy, increases satisfaction levels, reduces turnover, and grows individual and organizational results.

Tips For the Mentee

  • Be receptive to coaching and suggestions made by your mentor
  • Focus on expectations; it’s up to you to share your desired goals (short and long term), what you view as your “dream job”, and your vision for your career path.
  • Stay current on required work skills. What talent would look good on your resume? Would any certifications or other achievements position you to stand out from the competition?
  • Discuss your successes and accomplishments, as well as your barriers and problems
  • Solicit feedback; what could you do better? What’s working well and what is not?

Open lines of communication and having a trusting relationship are “musts” in a mentee/mentor relationship. Feedback isn’t always easy to deliver, or receive, but when done in an honoring, well-intentioned manner, is invaluable.

We all benefit from being part of a mentor/mentee relationship. Are you committed to achieving (or helping others achieve) individual and organizational excellence?