How to Build a Healthy Mentor-Mentee Relationship

Many volumes have been written about traits of successful leaders..their talents, tenacity and temperament. Each leader is the product of a leadership pipeline that for the most part is highly filtered and produces a pool of viable candidates that will react similarly to given circumstances.

Since mentoring is a terrific way of transferring competencies from one person to another, it’s a great way to invest in people. So it has distressed me to see some view it simply as a fast-tracking opportunity with a drive to be mentored only by someone on the top leadership team. From my perspective a good ‘mentor-mentee’ relationship is based on mutual commitment to the process. Here are what I consider essential ingredients for such a relationship:

A good mentor should:

  • Desire to see people succeed
  • Devote the time and energy to help someone improve
  • Develop and invest in personal growth that will bring fresh ideas
  • Enjoy healthy debates, which include questions, challenges and even critiques
  • Be an active listener
  • Provide actionable feedback

A successful mentee should:

  • Desire to learn and improve
  • Respect the mentor by devoting time and energy to the process
  • Apply and test the information
  • Look forward to the opportunity to share experiences and competence as a mentor

Have you ever participated in a mentoring program? What has worked for you? Are there things you wish your mentor or mentee had done to make the experience more valuable?

About Alex Pollock

Alex Pollock has been studying leadership effectiveness for more than 30 years. A former leader in environment, health and safety, and public affairs at The Dow Chemical Co., he learned that we all have leadership roles to play. He enjoys discussing new ideas and sharing practical ways we can all become better leaders.

View all post by Alex Pollock »

No Comments

Leave your comment