The success of a mentoring relationship depends to large degree upon your attitude and your commitment. Mentees are expected to take the lead in the partnership, to be proactive and work in order to achieve success.
A study of mentoring relationships in Norway found that the most successful relationships were those in which the mentee was most active and the mentor least active.
A mentor should:
Mentoring is not the same as counseling; don’t expect a shoulder to cry on. Don’t expect preferential treatment if your mentor is a more senior colleague at work.
No match is perfect and your mentor may only be able to help you with some of your issues, this does not mean that the partnership will not work. Discuss your aims and goals; find out the strengths of your mentor and the areas in which your mentor feels able to assist. Do not expect your mentor to help with all problems. Do not expect your mentor to give you the answer to your problem.
It is not normally necessary for your mentor to be working in exactly the same field/discipline, in order to help.
Your mentor is there to help you to think through your options and help you to formulate your plans. You make the decisions and you take the responsibility.
Mentoring is a wonderful opportunity to look more closely at yourself. To gain fully from the mentoring relationship, your agenda should include working towards goals. MentorSET expects mentees to set goals and work towards achieving them. If you are unable to determine clear goals to begin with, your mentor should be able to help with this during the first stage of the partnership.
Focus upon what you want and what you can do. Do not focus upon what you don't want, can't have or things out of your control.
Remember, the final responsibility for actions taken as a result of mentoring lies with the mentee. It does not lie with the mentor or with MentorSET.