What is your best tip for maintaining a good mentor/mentee relationship?
To help you maintain a good relationship with your mentor/mentee, we asked business leaders and experienced mentors/mentees this question for their best tips. From keeping an active line of communication to making time for constructive feedback, there are several tips to help both parties cultivate and maintain a mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationship.
Here are 8 tips to maintain a good mentor/mentee relationship:
- Keep an Active Line of Communication
- Maintain a Schedule
- Share Your Personal Goals
- Prepare and Review Before Meetings
- Maintain Mutual Respect
- Be Flexible in Your Thinking
- Serve as a Role Model
- Make Time for Constructive Feedback
Keep an Active Line of Communication
Keep an active line of communication. We all get busy but continue to check in and make sure both individuals know that they can reach out if need be. Find the most suitable platform for communication for both parties —some people get too many emails or don't check certain platforms. An open and active line of communication will help to strengthen the relationship and hopefully help it to last longer.
Maintain a Schedule
Maintaining a schedule is one of the first things that shows that both parties are serious about investing in each other in a mentor/mentee relationship. Outlook or any other calendar app is extremely helpful at setting up the automatic reoccurring meetings automatically. It doesn't have to be every week, but some recurring meeting does help as a check-in point to ask how things are going and hear about new developments. This helps provide some kind of structure and gets both people thinking about topics they would like to talk about in the next meeting.
Share Your Personal Goals
Like many Eller students during the beginning of the pandemic, I was left without a Summer internship and needed to search for alternative opportunities. I discovered Cisco Career Link and applied for their summer program that connected students with Cisco employees (mentors). The match was based on a career interest with the goal of providing one-on-one career advice, resume critiques and interview practice. My mentor was extremely helpful and taught me best practices for LinkedIn, edited my resume and hosted informational interviews for me.
One thing I will never forget is the importance of sharing personal updates as well as professional ones. I was candid with her about my career goals and how I was considering a travel gap year. This helped us guide our conversations and tailor her advice to include both my career goals and personal goals. Her advice helped me make my post-grad decision and land a role at a company that allows me to work remotely in international time zones.
Prepare and Review Before Meetings
Listen well, prepare, review and practice before meetings. Thoroughly understand short-term and long-term goals and effectively communicate any changes and updates from the management team in a timely manner. Make sure to maintain a growth mindset, share what is in your heart and always be helpful, kind, positive and safe.
Jen Kalis ‘04 BSBA (Management), Fit with Jen K LLC
Maintain Mutual Respect
A mentor is someone who we look up to, who inspires us, one thing that is the foundation of every relationship is mutual respect. A mentee should always look at a mentor with respect in his/her eyes and vice versa. Respect is what will make the mentee believe in the mentor’s principles and the path that he chose for him
Every relationship has certain boundaries that should never be crossed by both parties. Once those lines are blurred or worst case disappeared the relationship will turn bitter. No one likes a disrespecting student and no one wants to learn and listen to a teacher who he/she doesn’t respect.
Samantha Odo, COO at Precondo
Be Flexible in Your Thinking
I think it's important to remember that the relationship between a mentor and a mentee is a two-way street, and that information should flow in both directions. Successful mentors both lead and follow. Find ways to learn from your mentee and encourage him or her to gently challenge you to be current and knowledgeable. Successful mentors value learning and accept new challenges.
Maintain open lines of communication:
Mentee, be the first to speak. Inform your mentor of your objectives and what you intend to gain from the program.
Mentor, assist your mentee in setting realistic expectations. Also, let them know if you will be unavailable due to business or personal travel.
Max Whiteside, Content Lead at Breaking Muscle
Serve as a Role Model
A mentor, in my opinion, is someone who others look up to and respect. However, with recognition comes accountability. Employees want you to set the tone for their behavior as well as their accomplishments. This is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Make sure your words and actions are in sync. Build trust and respect among your employees, and constantly strive to operate with integrity.
Be coachable as a mentee. To be coachable, you have to let your mentor take the lead and be willing to listen to what they have to say. It also entails a strong commitment to your own personal and professional development.
Tanner Arnold, President and CEO of Revelation Machinery
Make Time for Constructive Feedback
A good mentor/mentee relationship consists of effective communication and listening to one another. The goal of a mentor/mentee relationship is to achieve personal and professional objectives. It is important that the mentor delivers constructive feedback and that the mentee actively listens so they can learn at the highest capacity. Open and honest communication is key to strengthening the relationship so both sides get the most out of the relationship.
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