What makes an effective mentee?
Mentoring is regarded by many as a two-way relationship and there is clear evidence to suggest that mentoring is of mutual benefit to mentees and mentors. As a two-way relationship, the following mentee characteristics and competencies have emerged which are known to contribute to a successful mentoring relationship:
- Understand purpose and context: mentees understand the purpose and context of the mentoring programme; what mentoring is and is not
- Clear expectations: mentees understand the expectations of the key stakeholders within their given context – organisation, programme, mentor and self
- Take ownership of the learning: mentees take on responsibility for their own development
- Openness: a willingness to engage and learn; to be open to exploration, questioning and challenge
- Organisation: mentees take responsibility for contacting the mentor, arranging the meetings and setting the agenda
- Enthusiasm and commitment: mentees show a drive for learning, commit to actions and next steps, follow-up on the commitments made
- Respect: mentees recognise the value of the mentor’s experience, commitment and contribution
- Self-awareness: mentees understand their own emotions, responses and reactions to situations.
Questions to consider
- Reflecting on the summary above, what are your strengths and areas for further development?
- Reflecting on your previous experience of mentoring, either as a mentor or mentee, what key characteristics and competencies were evidenced in the relationship?
- To what extent are you ready to embark on a mentoring relationship and what will you do next?
To find out more you may wish to consult the following resources:
- Cross, M., Lee, S., Bridgman, H., Thapa, D.K., Cleary, M. and Kornhaber, R., (2019). Benefits, barriers and enablers of mentoring female health academics PLOS.
- Cherie Blair Foundation Impact Report (2018) Empowering Women: Broadening Horizons