Mentoring is a relationship entailing formal or informal processes whereby a mentor provides intentional guidance, motivation, and encouragement. Mentors also share knowledge, experiences, and perspectives to empower the mentee in the advancement of specific goals that improve their lives and careers. Mentorship allows both mentor and mentee to build networks of resources, develop best practices, and sustain connections for lifelong learning.
Mentors have the potential to make powerful impacts on their mentee's lives. To ensure the development of a strong, beneficial relationship, mentors should keep these practices in mind at all times.
Download The PDF: Nine Best Practices for Mentors
1. Be insightful and thoughtful.
Ask strategic and thought-provoking questions to help mentees identify goals or obstacles.
2. Be intentional.
Actively and intentionally engage in meaningful conversations.
3. Be constructively objective.
Provide objective and constructive, goal-oriented feedback and guidance.
4. Be open and transparent.
Role model and facilitate problem-solving by sharing experiences and perspectives.
5. Facilitate and guide.
Encourage mentees to practice self-reflection and self-development.
6. Be empathetic and patient.
Be understanding and patient in supporting mentee needs.
7. Be attentive and available.
Be available and provide complete attention when meeting with mentees.
8. Inspire confidence.
Empower mentees to be problem solvers and to take initiative in moving toward goals.
9. Demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Recognize and respect differences in perspective or identity (culture, race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) Be cognizant of how intersectionality and power dynamics based on these identities might impact the mentee's experience.