Building a Great Mentoring Relationship

Whether it’s for the purpose of support, encouragement or even to challenge oneself, forging a mentor-mentee relationship is one of the best ways to develop one’s skills and also reach desired goals. Despite the many benefits that come with a mentorship relationship for both the mentor and the mentee, people often find it difficult to find, establish, and/or even maintain a relationship of this type. This is often because mentees make the error of considering themselves as passive recipients in the mentoring relationship. Included below are a number of tips that can be imbibed to drive an effective mentorship relationship;

Image by Rico Robinson
  • Goal Articulation: Your mentor is there to assist you in reaching personal and professional goals. However, you must be aware of them in order to get the most out of your mentoring relationship. While you can undoubtedly change your objectives along the way, ultimately it is up to you to steer the relationship in the proper path. If you’re having difficulty articulating your goals, do not be hesitant to ask your mentor for clarifications.
  • Feedbacks: The essence of the mentorship relationship is growth and development, and for that to happen, there is a need for constant assessment which comes in the form of feedback. This might always not be comfortable, but remember, what you as a mentee lack in skills, the mentor already has inexperience. This he/she shares as feedback, and when taken with the right attitude serves as a catalyst for change and growth. So, be open to accepting them.
  • Expectations: As a mentee, a mistake you should avoid making is showing up to a session expecting that the mentor would drive the conversation. Want to get the best out of your mentor?… Always go with a plan. Be concise about what you want, and when you are confused, do not mince words. Make the most of the time you have with your mentor. As a mentee, never be scared to let your mentor know that you would need help. Sitting and talking to you through unclear parts is the core of the relationship. Make it clear to your mentor what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. Be honest with yourself about how much time and energy you can devote to your mentor so that they can fully appreciate your efforts.
  • Show gratitude: Never forget to thank your mentor for their time and advice. When they share exceptionally thought-provoking ideas, spend additional time explaining how much they affected you. Being appreciative motivates your mentor to invest in the connection and continue coaching you.
By Lanre Ogungbe
Lanre Ogungbe