“Great mentors ask great questions that will lead mentees to ‘aha’ moments they wouldn’t have on their own. Their role is to poke you in the side, not pat you on the head.”
A good mentoring program is based on four things:
1. There has to be a clear rationale for how you match people.
2. You need good training for mentor and mentee roles and a structure of common expectations.
3. You need to periodically check in with participants and intervene if there are issues. “Follow through is where many company programs fail. Mentees often don’t speak up if a senior leader isn’t making time for them,” she said.
4. “There needs to be good content, seed questions and suggestions for discussion so that conversations are rich and effective.”
I wholeheartedly agree. If you’ll remember, I wrote a little piece on mentors for college students here. Although I have no experienced mentoring in a workplace per se, I absolutely believe in providing students of all ages (especially girls since, well, I’m kind of partial… but boys too… yeah) with trustworthy mentors to guide them through some of the tougher choices in life.
In college especially. College is such a period of transition. It’s when children become “adults.” It’s when we learn to live on our own. It’s when we learn to balance “wants” vs. “shoulds.” It’s when we prioritize work and school and play, learn to balance a check book, practice self-control, prepare ourselves for the “real world” and all the while try to have fun!
I think it’s imperative that students have the opportunity to connect with like-minded mentors who can help them through. If they want help, that is. But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms!