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Stella Collins

Stellar Labs

Chief Learning Officer

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How to get the most out of being mentored?


A client of mine has recently begun a mentoring relationship with a more senior colleague and she really wants to make it work for her and for her mentor - she's aware it's going to take his time and wants to make sure he values it too.

So she asked me 'How do I get the most out of being mentored?'

I thought it was a great question but didn't have any immediate answers to give her so would really like your help in giving her some answers.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Stella Collins

2 Responses

  1. Hi Stella a long time ago in a land far away…..

    ….I ran a series of workshops for a company instigating a mentoring programme.  We ran training workshops for mentors and mentees. One of the activities was a brainstorm of the characteristics and abilities of a good mentee.  Sadly, I’ve changed computer systems since then and I have very little of the material left and nothing from the outcomes of any of these activities.  But from memory:

    a good mentee has to be:-

    ~scrupulously honest about his her career objectives in the short, medium and long term.

    ~considerate of the mentor’s time but also happy to accept the gift the mentor is giving

    ~thoughtful when asked to undertake an assignment or give something serious consideration

    ~assertive if he she genuinely feels that the relationship is veering off course 

    ~full of integrity if the mentor provides an opportunity to network with the mentor’s contacts or to undertake an assignment that the mentor provides to the benefit of the mentee 

    ~grateful to the mentor in a way which clearly shows his her gratitude without subservience, or causing embarrasment tot he mentor

    ~accepting that the mentor’s role is not to do it for the mentee, but to provide non directive guidance


    I think that just about sums it up

    I hope that helps



  2. Some more thoughts …

    Hi Stella, I was on the receiving end of a mentoring relationship with a colleage during a previous role which I found to be very successful.  Basically I was in full charge of everything and this worked well since it ensured I was committed to the journey.  I decided how often I wanted to meet my mentor and how many sessions I wanted, I organised the meetings, I drew up an agenda for each meeting and I established the objective for each meeting.  Having this much input made sure I was focused on a successful outcome.  In terms of other thoughts I would strongly advise that a clear objective to the mentoring relationship is established from the outset and what the mentee wants or where they want to be when the relationship comes to an end.  I participated in a pilot mentoring programme with my local CIPD branch and had a wonderful time with my mentee who was trying to complete her studies as an executive coach.  I’m pleased to say she passed with flying colours.  Others however did not enjoy such a positive experience and we quickly established that the lack of any final outcomes largely contributed.  One final thought: it may be worth looking at anything written by David Clutterbuck as he’s one of many good mentoring gurus and will provide good supporting material. 

Author Profile Picture
Stella Collins

Chief Learning Officer

Read more from Stella Collins

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