As it so happens, I picked up couple of mentees this week from work. Plus am arranging for a mentoring networking event for my old alma mater MBS. And recently participated in a global alumni call which talked about mentoring.
I thought of jotting down what I usually talk about in the first meeting.
First is that my job isn't to be your nanny or mother, I am a sounding board or coach so to say.
Second, while I will learn much from you, how much you get out of this mentoring business is up to you.
Next: regular catch-up’s are vital, otherwise we miss the discipline of having a goal to reach
Then: We have to have a goal, an aim, or even a checkpoint to see if we have achieved what you originally set out to do.
Treat me as a doctor or a lawyer or an architect or barber or project manager. A professional. Open and honest. Being less than open doesn't help.
On the other hand, I will listen more. Give you options. Open my network to you. If need be, drive you. And perhaps invite you for a bbq.
And if things work out, this relationship is lifelong and we become friends. I have several mentors and I think I can seriously call them friends. Very useful but as with every relationship, you get what you put in it. Work it folks, make it good for both of us, I will as well.
Here’s a good definition of mentoring:
"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring