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Becoming a Mentor

Mentoring doesn’t take a lot of time and you may be surprised to learn that you may learn things from your mentee as well!  If you’re ready to get started, just click the button above to fill out your profile and the Boston Chapter will match you up with a mentee.  But first, we suggest reviewing the information below to help fill out your profile in order to get the most out of your mentoring relationship.Being a mentor contributes to your professional development.  Mentoring is a great way to build your people development and leadership skills while giving you the opportunity to have a positive influence in someone else’s life.  Mentoring is a rewarding experience that will accelerate your development and better prepare you for your next professional advancement opportunity!

You might be nervous, particularly if you’ve never mentored anyone before.  That’s perfectly natural, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying!  Take a look at the questions below. If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you have mentoring skills and can definitely help someone with their professional development. But I’ve never done this before!

  • Have you had any prior supervisory or coaching experience?
  • Do you communicate effectively?
  • Are you able to influence others?
  • Are you interested in improving your ability to develop people?
  • Have you ever managed a project?
  • Have you ever worked on multidisciplinary teams?
  • Have you ever taken on a new job role?
  • Have you experienced a career change?

How can I contribute to a relationship?

There are several areas where you may be able to contribute valuable insight to a mentoring relationship such as:

  • Work experience
  • Technical skills and knowledge
  • Organizational skills
  • Soft skills such as negotiating, communication
  • Education
  • On-the-job or other training

What a mentor does

It will be your responsibility to provide guidance and coaching to your mentee based on his/her learning needs and development areas. This can be accomplished in several ways. You can be a technical resource, an advisor, a teacher, a lead by example model, or a coach. Regardless of the role you choose, you are the expert in this relationship for the majority of the time. This may seem like a lot of responsibility to you, but remember that you are here to provide unbiased and objective input to someone who will genuinely appreciate the commitment you have made to their development.  You will never be faulted for any guidance that you offer.

Mentors are expected to:

  • Commit the necessary time and effort to help your mentee achieve their objectives
  • Create a positive relationship and climate of open communication
  • Be a resource
  • Be prepared to listen
  • Be a sounding board for mentee’s career plans and aspirations
  • Provide open and candid feedback and coaching
  • Be open to learning from the mentee
  • Be consistent, dependable and trustworthy
  • Maintain regular communication
  • Ask questions of mentees to stimulate thoughts, discussion, and insights
  • Share stories, business experiences, etc. including mistakes you’ve made
  • Respect your mentee's time as much as your own
  • Recognize and work through conflicts in ways that show you care

Mentors are not expected to

  • Drive the relationship
  • Develop a close, personal friendship with the mentee (although they can)
  • Do any work for the mentee
  • Manage the mentee as a manager would
  • Be an expert in every imaginable development area
  • Pressure the mentee to answer or behave as you think they should
  • Expect a clone of yourself
  • Assume your advice will be followed

If you’re ready to get started, click here to fill out your mentor profile .  Once you do, ISPE will match you up with a mentee.

Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions for Mentors

 

Page last updated: 5 October 2015