The Mentee’s role
T he relationship between Mentor and Mentee is very much Mentee-centred. As a Mentee you are expected to take ownership and drive the relationship, drawing on the Mentor’s knowledge and experience as required. An effective mentoring relationship is an open, and honest one that builds and maintains trust. This leads to powerful conversations that enable and empower the Mentor to help you take charge of your development and environment.
To allow this transition the importance of interpersonal skills is essential. These skills include effective verbal communication, listening, questioning and understanding in order to extract and use the required information from the Mentor. The role of the Mentee is to: • Communicate their circumstances clearly, concisely and Question where they do not fully understand or comprehend • Provide information, knowledge about organisation/occupation and career to aid their Mentor with the provision of advice and support • Act upon advice on career development Accept differing perspectives • Accept support and encouragement Provide own experience to aid discussions • Take the lead, guide and make decisions – when the relationship is established.
The CIPD recorded a useful webinar outlining your role as a mentee:
It is important to remember that as a Mentee, you are responsible for your own growth. Therefore, you need to be actively involved in the discussions that take place. You are taking control of your development by managing yourself, using a Mentor as a facilitator. You have responsibilities to your Mentor and only by taking these on will the relationship work. The responsibility is one that is shared by both parties. It is the your duty to input into the relationship building the Mentor’s involvement and commitment. As the Mentee, you can develop and support this relationship by: • Clarity clear communication of your needs and aspirations to and from the Mentor will make the meetings focused and both parties will know where they stand. • Networking use any contacts and confidential information sensibly, seeking permission from the Mentor when using their name or details. • Taking action – agreed tasks need to be completed within the negotiated time frames • Not making unreasonable demands – that burden the Mentor- Mentee relationship especially around the issues of time and networking • Remembering – Mentoring is just as much your responsibility, it is a two-way process and you will get what you are prepared to put in
Here are some more tips for you to consider.
Review meetings To make effective use of the review meetings you can prepare by reflecting on your past experiences. This will help develop understanding, allowing one to consider future needs, explore options and strategies with the Mentor’s input. You can start this process by considering the following prefixes to sentences: • I am experiencing difficulty with… In terms of support, I may need… • I want to develop my skill(s) in… What would you suggest? Things that have gone well are… • How can I find out more about…? • I have appreciated your support and ideas on... etc. The prefixes above are only limited examples and many more will come from your reflections and thoughts. One way to ensure you are able to reflect on clear issues is to use some form of learning log, journal or diary system. A learning log/recording system allows a Mentee to self-review and it is through this process you learn, develop and more importantly take ownership of the process. You can then, reflect, recognise achievements, analyse practices and identify areas for development. Some of the common questions, which may be used to help the Mentee reflect, are: • What have I achieved? • What have been difficult areas when...?
• What analysis has come from? • What have I learned from...? • What do I need to change so I can...? • What do I need to develop to allow me to...?
Things to include and remember when you use a learning log/recording system: • Reflection and analysis – concentrate on key learning pointsSupport and development needs – be specific • Difficulties that were encountered and how they were resolved Identified strengthsAchievements and successes • The log is for your own development and needs only be shown to to those who have contracted into the Mentoring programme with you
Here’s a short video about how to create a learning log:
A Mentoring programme will only work if you are willing to buy into it. It is a two-way process and is there as a tool to support your development. You are equal partners in a relationship, which allows you access to professionals from the world of work. Using their skills, expertise and experience you can start to develop yourself.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
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