I’m currently helping a number of my clients design and implement mentoring programs, as they seek ways to deepen their relationships with their employees, by providing additional developmental opportunities to their people. This is a great strategy for attracting and retaining top talent. If you’ve ever had a mentor or been a mentor, then you know how this relationship can be a game-changer for years to come. Here are five characteristics of a great mentoring relationship:
- The relationship is mutually beneficial. The best mentoring relationships are those where both parties are getting something out of it. The mentor may receive personal satisfaction knowing he or she is helping someone who is looking to propel his or her career forward, while the mentee feels fortunate to have access to someone who knows the playing field fairly well.
- There are high levels of trust. Trust is the thread that holds the mentoring relationship together. Without trust, neither party can move forward. Here are some signs that you have a trusting relationship. Both parties share personal challenges. Neither person thinks twice before speaking. Honesty is the rule rather than the exception.
- Communication flows easily. Both parties look forward to their next point of connection. Conversations become more sophisticated as the relationship matures. Both mentor and mentee actively listen to one another and remain in the moment.
- Commitment is strong. The relationship is a priority to both parties. Meetings are rarely missed.
- The sun sets in a timely manner. Nothing lasts forever, including mentoring relationships. When the relationship has run its course, neither party hangs on out of convenience. Both agree that for growth to continue, one must let go.
What would you add to this list?
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