Mentorships come in all shapes and sizes. They sometimes take place in a professional setting or can be casual connections made through family and friends. When mentorships come naturally, it is easy to forget that you are in such a relationship. In these types of situations, it is easy to forget how useful such relationship can be for a mentor-mentee. Making sure to take full advantage of your mentorship can ensure that it lasts a long time and is a healthy relationship.
Know One Another
Most often, in professional mentorship, it remains just that, professional. While it is crucial to stay on track to obtain your goals, getting to know one another can take the relationship to a new level. If you only talk business and show your mentee the ropes, there will always be a disconnect and an inability to get to know one another. For both parties, it is important to have a little bit of knowledge about the person, outside of your mentorship. Understand their likes, interests, and especially, learning/teaching styles. The more you know one another, the clearer your goals together can remain.
One of the most important aspects of the mentor-mentee relationship is learning how to effectively collaborate with each other. On the mentors’ end, make sure that you aren’t just showing your mentee how something is or should be done. Show them once, and then make them do it on their own. Ask how they would handle a situation, before showing your methods. For a mentee, you have to be willing to do things that might scare you. Your mentor might ask you to step out of your comfort zone. They are often doing it for your own good and learning. If you can’t collaborate with one another using some give-and-take, there is no chance that the relationship will remain strong.
Telling the truth and opening up to one another could be the foundation to a successful mentor-mentee relationship. The mentee should define their goals to their mentor in a clear manner. If they feel as though they aren’t being led down the path that will help them achieve them, speak up! There is no harm is reevaluating your affiliation with your mentor to make sure you are both on the same page. On the other hand, a mentor should often give open feedback and constructive criticism to their mentee. No one will grow or gain anything out of the mentorship if no progress is being made.
All mentorship relationships are different and no one can tell you how yours should look. However, it is up to both the mentor and mentee to make the most out of their relationship. This occurs through getting to know one another, effective collaboration, and a transparent dialogue.