Friday, June 22, 2007

The successful mentoring relationship

A mentoring relationship can be incredibly informal but must include three aspects of accountability. The less experienced of the pair establishes goals, while the more experienced provides training and evaluation.
  • Goals: the goals are yours to set, but as always when establishing goals, your goals should be well defined, measurable, and have a set timeframe. For example, if your schedule leaves no time for exercise, an appropriate goal would be to learn to incorporate more activity into your daily routine. More specifically, by the end of the month, I will schedule fifteen minutes breaks into my day, 3 days a week for a short walk.
  • Training: the mentor in the relationship should provide insight into how to achieve these goals. For example, providing advice into the best time of day to fit in these breaks or the best way to ask your boss to accept your new schedule.
  • Evaluation: the mentor in the relationship will be responsible for providing evaluation and praise when goals are met. This is the mentor’s opportunity to provide feedback and continued guidance or reevaluation of your goals along the way.

The mentorship relationship works well because one (the mentor) can provide formal or informal guidance toward common goals they have already achieved, along a familiar path. The mentor can help you to foresee bumps in the road and appropriate diversions, all the while providing necessary support.

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