Mentoring - Meeting Expectations


Meeting the expectations is the third stage of mentoring. When the mentees begin to get comfortable with the idea of mentoring and learn to share their thoughts with the mentor, they tend to not draw any line on the sand, i.e., a psychological line that they should not step across. They get drawn into this world of uninhibited thought-sharing and tend to lose focus on what the objective of these sessions are.

Many mentees who seek mentoring for the first time have immature expectations from the mentors. Some of wrong expectations new and inexperienced mentees have from their mentors are listed under −

  • Be controlled
  • Receive orders
  • Receive favors and perks
  • Gossip with mentor
  • Be handed ready-made solutions
  • Expect things to go easy
  • Quit mentoring once immediate issue resolved
  • Complain about everything

While these wrong expectations are clearly due to a wrong interpretation of the mentormentee relationship, there are many who are familiar with the process of mentoring and expect professional help and assistance in their journey forward. The mentees of this kind will have logical, relevant and pertinent expectations such as the ones mentioned below −

  • Look to be challenged
  • Learning through examples
  • Receive proper guidance
  • Be more aware of their skills
  • Be encouraged and guided
  • Nurturing the mentoring tie
  • Instilling greater confidence
  • Encourage friendship within formal structure
  • Willing to learn from mistakes
  • Be listened to while speaking
  • Be coached and trained on specific skills
  • Learn working of the organization
  • Share knowledge and experience
  • Given sound career advice

Mentees are fragile, both emotionally and mentally, when they approach the mentor for guidance. At this point of time, they need to realize that even the most caring, involved and dedicated mentor will need an equal commitment from the mentees too. A few guidelines that the mentees need to follow are −

  • Learn to accept challenges
  • Have a positive self-esteem
  • Learn to trust your mentor
  • Learn to take calculated risks
  • Don’t expect instant miracles
  • Maintain transparency with your mentor
  • Be active in your own development
  • Be willing to discuss issues openly
  • Look beyond mentoring too for growth
  • Tell the mentor when you feel confident

Organizations invest heavily in mentoring. They are interested to see if the mentees can achieve greater heights in their profession. In keeping up with the tradition of successful mentoring, organizations look to provide for mentees the following support −

  • An improvement track-keeper
  • A friend who keeps things confidential
  • A source of knowledge
  • A guide for career development
  • A source of encouragement
  • A source of emotional support
  • A guide for time management
  • A guide for personal development
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