M2.04 Conducting the mentoring process

4. Work with learner to undertake the learning

The Mentor’s role
The relationship between Mentor and Mentee is very much Mentee-centred – focusing on their professional and personal development. It may include the giving of advice, information, establishing facts, sign-posting, self-appraisal, etc. Whatever the techniques, the emphasis is on enabling and empowering the Mentee to take charge of their development and their environment. To allow this transition the importance of interpersonal skills is essential. These skills include listening effectively, empathy, understanding a non-judgemental approach and the ability to facilitate through skilled questioning.
The role of the Mentor is to: listen, question, give information, knowledge about organisation, give advice on career development, offer different perspectives, offer support and encouragement, draw on own experience when appropriate, confront and discuss current issues, take the lead and make decisions in the early stages of the relationship. And to encourage the Mentee to: listen, clarify understanding, share thinking, review and reflect on oneself, change assumptions, consider different perspectives, develop and manage a career plan, take responsibility for their own development, make decisions to maximise the outcomes of the Mentoring relationship.

The Mentee’s role
The Mentee is expected to take ownership and drive the relationship, drawing on the Mentor’s knowledge and experience as required. The Mentee is expected to be open, honest and receiving to enable and empower the Mentor to talk openly and honestly in order to assist the Mentee to take charge of their development and their environment.
Interpersonal skills are essential and include effective verbal communication, listening, questioning and understanding in order to extract and use the required information from the Mentor.
The role of the Mentee is to: communicate their circumstances clearly, concisely and honestly, question where they do not fully understand or comprehend, provide information, knowledge about organisation/occupation and career to aid their Mentor with the provision of advice and support, act upon advice on career development, accept differing perspectives, accept support and encouragement, provide own experience to aid discussions, take the lead, guide and make decisions – when the relationship is established.

The Mentoring relationship
The Mentoring relationship can be a very powerful positive experience. It enables and develops a greater sense of confidence, enhancing the professional and personal skills of both parties. To make sure the experience/relationship is a success, a number of factors need to be addressed.

Factors for success
There are a number of factors which will contribute towards a successful relationship between Mentor and Mentee:
  • Clear guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of both parties
  • Agreed and shared understanding of the nature and type of support
  • Commitment towards the principles and values of the Mentoring scheme
  • The skills of both the Mentor and Mentee
  • Clear communication in both directions
  • Clear communication is the cornerstone on which all the other factors sit.
It is through constructive and empathic dialogue the relationship can develop allowing both parties to bring forward their ideas, enter discussions and maintain professional development. It is within this environment both parties can flourish.