The growing practice of mentorship is a rewarding process. By sharing hands on experience, mentors can help their mentees in discovering and developing their potential for positive impact in the society and simultaneously enabling the mentor to achieve self actualization. There is no "right" way to mentor. The best technique is the one that is right for the individuals involved - that helps the mentor understand the mentee and allows the mentor to effectively share his or her knowledge and expertise.

Effective mentorship can take place in a wide variety of ways - in person, through the phone, via e-mail or fax, at the mentor's or mentee's facility or somewhere entirely different. Whichever the style and means of mentorship, some suggestions to help ensure the mentoring process is as effective as possible for both parties include:

  • Set practical goals - At every stage of the relationship, make sure the goals for both parties are clear and realistic and include timelines for meeting established benchmarks
  • Identify potential obstacles - Identify in advance any obstacles that could prevent the implementation of the established goals. Such obstacles might include limitations in time, organizational change, committment issues and personality differences
  • Seek similar interests - Look into common interests that can bring the pair closer to enable a genuine relationship of trust and personal support
  • Plan a self-directed project - Self-directed projects provide an opportunity for the mentee to put what has been learned into place
  • Plan for change - In case of any changes in the mentorship program such as the mentor leaving the program due to changing jobs, documenting the processes and other information during the mentoring relationship to ensure that any changes won't adversely affect the mentorship relationship
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