A mentoring program can have a major impact on an organization through the strategic development of its people. It is designed to benefit the participants significantly by facilitating a broader sense of community, enabling greater sharing of knowledge and best practices, helping employees become integrated in the company culture and its processes, and enhancing the ability to development knowledgeable, confident and capable employees.

Being a good mentor or mentee requires dedication to the process and a commitment to one another.

What are some of the do’s and don’ts of being a good mentor? The do’s include:

  • Provide advice and direction within your areas of expertise. For those areas where you don’t have the answers, provide additional resources and point your mentee in the right direction.
  • Be open and accessible. Remember, a mentee is not free labor or someone to boss around.
  • Maintain clear, distinct boundaries, and set clear expectations. Never make personal requests of a mentee.
  • Be ethical and professional. Do not gossip about anyone or anything at the office, and don’t micromanage your mentee.
  • Establish clear, open, two-way communication. Be willing to listen to your mentee’s ideas without criticizing. Do not judge or assume, and never give up on them.

The mentee shares in the responsibility of making a successful pairing. The mentee must:

  • Define the purpose of the relationship and what you hope to achieve. That does not mean your mentor makes decisions for you. The solutions must be your own, and you must come prepared to think out and discuss your options.
  • Be respectful or your mentor’s time and expectations, and don’t abuse the relationship.
  • Be proactive. It is your responsibility to communicate and schedule meetings.
  • Maintain a professional and ethical relationship with the mentor. Don’t gossip with your mentor about anything.

What do you think makes for a successful mentor/mentee relationship? Tell us in the comments below, or share your thoughts on Twitter at #mcgblog.

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