Developing a Strong Mentoring Relationship
Whether you become a mentor or a protégé, you will find that developing a strong relationship takes time.
To make e- Mentoring work, a mentor and protégé need to align their needs and skills, set the right tone for the relationship, and maintain their commitment.
Aligning the needs and skills of the partners
The first step in making e-Mentoring work is to align the partners’ needs and skills. The protégé chooses her partner; the mentor then accepts or rejects the offer. Consider the following example:
Clay : “I asked Alie about her background and experience with our company. By the time we finished our first chat, I knew she had all the skills I needed in a mentor.”
Alie : “Clay asked important questions — questions that compared our experience levels. As it turns out, my strongest skills are the very skills he hopes to gain. And I would benefit by learning from Clay about an area of the business that I have yet to become familiar with. It was clear after our conversation that e-Mentoring with Clay would be mutually beneficial.”
In this example, Clay was careful to find out what Alie’s experience could teach him. Alie respected Clay for the obvious effort he showed in asking meaningful questions. She, in turn, saw an opportunity to expand her knowledge of the business. Ultimately, the conversation allowed Alie to see whether she could help Clay become successful.
When partners take the time to align their skills before entering into an e-Mentoring relationship, they avoid wasting time working with the wrong person.
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