To anyone who wants to gain a foundation in mentoring, and managers and team leaders who want to develop or refine their mentoring skills.
MANAGING THE MENTORING RELATIONSHIP
Addressing Mentoring Program Issues
Mentoring relationships, like any other, aren't immune to problems
Issues can arise when there's too much – or too little – formality. Or an otherwise good mentoring relationship may suffer because of inadequate follow-up.
There may be insufficient support within the organization for the mentoring program.
Problems can also be a result of incompatibility between mentor and mentee, or interference from outside the relationship.
To ensure problems don't get out of hand, a mentor can make sure to set boundaries and expectations at the outset so that everyone knows what is and isn't part of the relationship.
It's also advisable to stay away from a mentee's personal issues unless they're impacting the relationship.
A mentor should also avoid trying to solve every problem for the mentee. This is counterproductive and usually impossible.
Preventing Program Issues
Problems with mentoring programs tend to be either procedural or contextual. Procedural problems relate to how the mentoring program is managed. Overmanagement stifles spontaneity, while under-management drains momentum.
Contextual problems relate to clarity of purpose or the support given to the mentoring program within the organization.
Clarity of purpose means everyone knows why something's being done, what's expected, what the aim is, and who's responsible for what. A lack of support from senior management undermines and diminishes a mentoring program.
There are five key guidelines for preventing program issues, whether procedural or contextual.
1. Select and match effectively
2. Provide training
3. Plan for mentoring
4. Provide support