Mentor-Mentee: 5 benefits that make your partnership successful

Mentor word cloud

Series Talent Management

Mentoring is a very effective talent management instrument. A mentor coaches via comments, support, encouragement, and career of the mentee. But not all mentor-mentee relationships are as effective. Here are five benefits that make your partnership successful.

Set expectations. To get the most out of a mentoring relationship, identify your needs early on and keep assessing whether it continues to meet them. Some mentoring relationships develop organically, but this is rarely the case.

Give and take. Having a mentor is not a one-way street. The best relationships are reciprocal. You may be at a different place in your career from your mentor, but still have a lot to offer someone ahead of you.

Reevaluate your relationship. Having a mentor is not a guarantee of success — just a tool for career development. Mentoring relationships and career paths are dynamic. Both of you need to review your objectives periodically to make sure that they are being met. You may reach a point when you need a new mentor to help you achieve the next career goal, or cope with a fork in the road.

Break up when you must. When you are no longer getting anything out of the relationship, or have outgrown it, consider moving on. Most progams have a built-in time limit, often one year, but there’s no need to stick to one year. Let your mentor know what you have gained; how his or her guidance has influenced you; and why it is time to make a change.

Don’t expect mentor monogamy. We need different types of mentors for different stages — and different aspects — of our careers. Mentors can each offer different perspectives and bring with them different skill sets.

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