Keys to Mentoring

Carolyn Duff, author of “When Women Work Together: Using Our Strengths to Overcome Our Challenges” (Conari Press, 1993, $14.95), describes female mentoring relationships like this:

  • A mentor is not a mother. “Mentors are role models, women who acknowledge the value of another woman and agree to serve as her guide, counselor, coach and advocate. They provide information, criticism and opportunity.”
  • A mentor empowers others to succeed on their own. “Friends supply an emotional base where weaknesses can be as important as strengths. But mentors turn weaknesses into strengths so that independence can be created.”
  • A mentor is committed. “Mentoring is not just a one- or two-time shot. It’s a commitment to another person to follow through on a developmental process.”
  • A mentor identifies the relationship upfront. “Mentoring isn’t necessarily a friendship, and [in the workplace] it shouldn’t be misconstrued as favoritism. By defining expectations at the start, future problems can be anticipated and averted.”
  • A mentor provides honest criticism and praise. “There should be an understanding that the intention behind a mentor’s criticism is to strengthen and prepare the mentee for the challenges she is going to experience. Women tend to process criticism personally; therefore, it is important for the mentor to realize that there might be a hurt process before the mentee uses her criticism constructively.”
  • A mentor works on a two-way street. “This is a reciprocal relationship. Just as a mentor helps the mentee, the mentee can develop a support structure that helps the mentor.”

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 at 2:13 pm and is filed under Women's Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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