In a mentoring relationship the mentor and mentee will both learn new things about themselves and each other that will help them move towards their respective career goals. But to make the relationship work, each party needs to understand the role that they play.

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Mentoring Skills, Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentor

Mentoring is a partnership between two individuals, the mentor and the mentee. In considering the roles of the mentor, he/she must wear many hats throughout the process:

  • Listening to problems, questions and ideas,

  • Offering wise counsel,

  • Offering encouragement,

  • Helping to build self-confidence,

  • Stimulating creative thinking,

  • Sharing knowledge, experiences, information and resources,

  • Acting as a role model,

  • Encouraging positive changes in behavior,

  • Confronting negative behavior and attitudes,

  • Providing constructive and supportive feedback,

  • Expressing empathy and understanding,

  • Setting high performance expectations,

  • Giving personal and professional advice,

  • Challenging ideas,

  • Providing growth experiences,

  • Encouraging and assist with goal setting,

  • Teaching, coaching and nurturing,

  • Providing support.

Mentoring Skills, Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentee

A mentee must also perform several roles. The mentee is the student who needs to absorb the mentor’s knowledge and have the ambition and desire to know what to do with this knowledge. Key skills, roles and responsibilities of the mentee include:

  • Commitment to the mentoring relationship,

  • Being open to new ideas,

  • Willingness to listen to feedback,

  • Ambition to grow and improve,

  • Sharing information about  strengths, development needs and ambitions,

  • Being open and honest,

  • Being receptive to challenges,

  • Being proactive and open to learning,

  • Actively listening during conversations and discussions with the mentor,

  • Able to approach the relationship with respect, good humor and openness,

  • Respect for the mentor’s time,

  • Meeting commitments and carrying out tasks by agreed times,

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Self-Leadership - Mentoring

A successful mentoring process is dependent on the mentor and mentee both understanding the skills, roles and responsibilities that they bring to the mentoring relationship. Find out the key steps for a successful mentoring process with The Mentoring Handguide.

Self-Leadership - Developing Yourself

To be a better self-leader start with improving your self-leadership skills with self-leadership training. Self-Leadership: Developing Yourself is a quick, online training course that you can use to kick-start your self-development.


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