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High-impact mentoring

 

Highly-effective, high-impact mentoring - that delivers sustainable growth and boosts achievement - begins with ensuring there is a strong match between mentor and mentee. This entails understanding the mentee’s future aspirations, current skills and experience, and overall mentoring needs, and align these closely with the skills and experience of the potential mentor. This can be more complex than simply finding someone further up the same career ladder as the mentee, and should also consider individual development needs and how these might be best served by the mentor’s complete skillset.

 

Don’t underestimate the need to train

 

The need to train both mentor and mentee is also critical. For both, it is crucial they understand their role and responsibilities: from logistics like organising times to meet, to aspects such as managing expectations and building the all-important basic relationship between the two. Being clear on goals, means of communication and overall expectations are crucial to creating the foundation for an effective mentoring relationship.

 

Organisations that create mentoring programmes should also not shy away from looking regularly at how effective individual mentoring relationships are going. This can be achieved through open, honest conversations with all parties about how the process is developing, and whether there are areas that need more attention. This helps ensure that mentoring relationships remain effective and allow an independent opportunity to voice any concerns.

 

Taking an active role in mentoring also means that an organisation can help keep mentoring conversations fresh and useful. This avoids the situation where, after a number of session, mentor and mentee lack focuses to continue the conversation, and instead provides a means to investigate more topics than might have occurred to either mentoring party.

 

Mentoring, of course, promises a great range of possible benefits, and it’s very often a highly-effective pursuit for many organisations. At the same time, it is not an undertaking that can be simply started and left alone. Organisations need to play an active role in the entire process, supporting both mentor and mentee fully, if they want to see a real return from the effort. 

 
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