7 tips for effective mentoring relationships

Mentoring, as a professional development strategy, is experiencing a resurgence. In a recent article, published in AITD’s Training & Development magazine – linked below – I discussed some of the traditional models of mentoring, then explored the changing approaches to current practices.

I believe it is time to revisit our existing concepts of mentoring and professional development. If we are committed to tackle current workplace challenges, such as: the changing nature of work; continuous knowledge acquisition; the shift away from structured learning programs into new ways of on-demand performance support; and the elimination of performance reviews; then alternative mentoring approaches could provide significant opportunities.

A hybrid model of mentoring that blends into an ecosystem of engagement and shared knowledge development has the potential to emerge as a viable alternative.

However, the key element of any mentoring program is an effective relationship that is underpinned by respect.

7 tips for managing mentoring relationships:

  1. Ensure goals and expectations are clarified upfront.
  2. Make a commitment to ensure reciprocity is established.
  3. Meet regularly by scheduling 3 months of meetings – try to avoid cancelling.
  4. Agree on an agenda in advance – what feedback is required, what activities or actions are making a difference, what areas need work.
  5. Regularly evaluate and review progress.
  6. Be prepared to shift directions to achieve goals.
  7. Know when a mentoring relationship is over.

At the Ripple Effect Group, we offer a number of mentoring programs that are creatively designed to be flexible and aligned to create value for the individual or small group. Contact me (annebb@rippleffectgroup.com) if you’d like to realise the untapped potential of hybrid mentoring approaches.


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