Make the Most of Your Mentoring Relationships

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checkMentoring is one of the best ways to learn, to get feedback, and to take your career to the next level.  Here are ten tips for making the most of your mentoring relationships.

Tip #1
Self-assess.  Ask yourself, “What skills do I need to get where I want to go?”

Tip #2
Identify your learning goals.  Put them in writing.

Tip #3
Decide together how the mentoring relationship will work – frequency and type of contact.

Tip #4
Commit the time.  Don’t give up if the chemistry doesn’t feel right at the first meeting.  Meet a minimum of once per month.  Touch base regularly – by e-mail, phone, in person.

Tip #5
Take time to build trust and communication.  Get to know each other on a personal level.  Discuss your backgrounds, interests, career histories, and perspectives of your organizations.

Tip #6
Keep confidences.  Nothing kills trust in a mentoring relationship faster than a breach of confidence.

Tip #7
Be sensitive to cultural and gender differences.  Do a little homework.  And listen.

Tip #8
Understand and plan for the phases of a mentoring relationship.  Build in time for evaluation and closure.

Tip #9
This is about learning, whether you’re a protégé or a mentor.  Keep a journal.

Tip #10
You don’t need a single mentor who you keep throughout your career.  What you need is a mind-set that allows you to learn from those around you, no matter who they are.  To get ahead, create your own multitalented “board of advisors.”

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Judy Lindenberger "gets" leadership. She is the rare coach and trainer capable of coupling personal growth with professional development, which is why top companies and individuals invite her to work with them. Judy focuses on driving performance. From developing more impactful communications to helping successful leaders become even better; from navigating your career to managing conflict; your team will leave her programs with renewed energy and focus. Judy's background includes designing and facilitating the first-ever sexual harassment prevention training for federal workers, leading the management training department for a major financial organization, and creating a highly successful, global mentoring program for a Fortune 500 company which won the national Athena Award for Mentoring for two consecutive years. She is also a certified career coach and human resources consultant. A must hear speaker at industry conferences and a published author, Judy earned a B. A. in communications and an MBA in human resources. In her free time, Judy serves as Member, Board of Trustees, YWCA Trenton and Vice President, Hopewell Valley Regional School District. She is the Past President of the Board of SERV Achievement Centers, and is a trained community mediator and child advocate. SpecialtiesCustomized training (instructor-led and e-learning), career coaching, HR audits, organizational assessments, and human resources consulting. Contact: [email protected] or 609.730.1049.