Top 5 Tips to Having a Successful Mentoring Relationship


Whether you’ve had a mentor before or a first-timer, these 5 tips for a successful mentoring relationship will be applicable and useful.


1. Start right

Begin with the end in mind. How do you view and measure success? This might not be clear at first, so you and your mentor might need to discuss and flesh things out. Setting the right expectations is crucial, and coming to a compromise is good when your convictions and circumstances pull you in opposite directions.


2. Listen

Listen with an intent to understand, and not with the intent to reply. Listen with an open mind and an open heart. Listen without judgement. Don’t assume. Don’t jump to conclusions. Listen positively.


3. Honor boundaries, limitations and, most importantly, differences

Yours and your mentor’s. It’s acceptable to tell your mentor that something might be a stretch for you. There may be contacts and networks either of you cannot share, information you cannot divulge, and topics you cannot discuss. And that’s okay.

Moreover, honor and respect differences. Each mentor - and their corresponding relationship - is different.


4. Watch and learn

Practice and apply analysis and problem-solving. Ask questions to point you in the right direction. Share your victories.

When you get stuck, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, in the first place. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you makes mistakes, own up to them, correct them, learn from them and move on.

Allow yourself to be molded, guided and corrected. Think of your mentor as your wings, not your crutch.


5. Promote and practice integrity in all that you do

The mentoring relationship has its challenges. But if you act with integrity, you will give your relationship a strong foundation. When mentees and mentors practice integrity and focus on getting the job done, the mentoring relationship can be genuinely rewarding.