Workplace mentoring programs can help in career development, connect employees with each other and cultivate a more positive work environment. Making a workplace mentoring program successful means that all the parties involved need to play their part. However, sometimes knowing what is expected is not always easy, especially if you are new to the organization.
A lot rides on the shoulders of a mentee when it comes to workplace mentoring programs. That is why it is important that a mentee has the right attributes to ensure the program will be successful. A mentee that is not willing to do the work or commit to the mentoring schedule will not be able to reap the benefits.
To determine whether a mentorship is a good investment of your time and energy, here is a list of characteristics that indicate whether or not you fit the mold of a good mentee.
Good qualities of a mentee
There are several characteristics an individual should have if they want to make the most of a mentorship opportunity. Here are some of the basic qualities a mentee should possess.A mentee should have the drive to succeed. A mentorship program is often run from the grassroots up, therefore the mentee is the one responsible to drive the relationship. Any mentee that demonstrates a drive or ambition to succeed will also bring a clear idea of what a successful mentorship would look like to them, which will be important.
Mentees need to be hard workers. Because a workplace mentoring program will require extra time and energy aside from the employee’s daily duties in their role at the organization, a strong work ethic is required. An individual who has demonstrated a willingness to work hard will be a good fit for a workplace mentoring program.
Great time management skills are essential to the mentorship relationship. A mentee who is able to manage their time effectively will be key. It is also important that the potential mentee assess whether they have the time to commit to a mentorship program.
A mentee with a positive attitude will go a long way in making the program a success. A good outlook often makes the relationship smoother and more enjoyable. Not to mention, someone with a more optimistic outlook usually performs better than an individual with a negative outlook.
Respect for authority is a vital quality that mentees need to have. A mentorship program has traditionally been an older or more experienced employee guiding a younger and less experienced one. Therefore, respect needs to be central to the connection. A mentee who is unable or unwilling to respect the experience, wisdom, and authority of the mentor will not be successful.
For a mentorship program to thrive, mentees need to be willing and open to learning. They will also need to be prepared to try out new things or adjust how they do things. The mentor is expected to offer their expertise or advice, but if the mentee is not willing to learn the opportunity will be a wasted one.
Capable of clear communication, including listening. A mentee should be able to listen attentively and also communicate well to their mentor if they do not understand. Essentially, a mentorship program is one that has a relationship at the center. To create a positive relational experience, the mentee will need to be able to effectively express themselves. Initiative takers make great mentees. Those employees who don’t wait around for someone else to fix a problem or do something demonstrate an important attribute for mentees. Often times, mentees who demonstrate a willingness to take the initiative for positive change will also be those who take responsibility for their career success. Rather than waiting on someone else to recognize their abilities and strengths, mentees who feel in control of their career will be attentive in a mentoring situation.
Good mentees also have a demonstrated capability to be good leaders. While they may not have all the skills they need to take on a leadership role, mentees that are hoping to do so one day will be able to earn valuable experience and knowledge through a workplace mentorship program.
A large part of the success of a workplace mentoring program revolves around whether or not the mentee is able to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Therefore, one of the first and most important elements of a mentorship involves setting goals and developing a plan to achieve them. Mentees should have a good grasp of goal making and achievement. A large part of mentorship is setting goals and working to accomplish them.
Although this is something that can be done together, the core of the work will fall to the mentee. They need to know what they want to get out of the program, but they also need to know how to get to the end goal. If you are new to a mentoring program, think about what it is you would like to learn from your mentor. Are there some specific skills that you would like to develop? Do you want to understand more about the company?
Ultimately, you need to ask why you picked the mentor that you do. What knowledge do they have that you would like to gain? In addition to good goal planning, a mentee needs to also be flexible. Being willing to make changes or re-assess goals is a crucial element to a successful workplace mentorship program. When it comes to setting goals and achieving them, being flexible is important. Things do not always work out as we hope, and a good mentee needs to be willing to change things if they are not working.
How to be a successful mentee
Cultivating a successful mentor-mentee relationship takes time, but there are a couple of things that mentees can do to enhance the overall experience.
First of all, respect your mentor and demonstrate your willingness to listen and follow their guidance. Don’t forget that they are volunteers that have committed some of their free time to the mentoring program. Therefore, also be mindful of the time you demand of them. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim to get everything out of the meetings that you want, but it does mean coming prepared and not wasting any more time than is necessary.
Set goals, expectations and boundaries for the relationship. Having a clearly expressed plan for the future and growth of the mentorship will be key to getting the most out of the experience. A mentor and mentee can define these together as they work to build up the trust. Setting boundaries and having clear communication will also help create a successful mentorship.