Practical Application: Mentoring Relationships in the Workplace

Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Like most other relationships, mentoring relationships can be complicated. In this practical application, we'll look at some of the things that go into a successful relationship and apply those concepts to a scenario.

Mentoring Relationships

A mentoring relationship involves a give-and-take between an experienced, knowledgeable person (the mentor) and a less experienced, less knowledgeable person (the mentee). Like all relationships, a mentoring relationship requires commitment from both parties. It also requires open communication and listening skills on both sides. Finally, it usually involves constructive feedback from the mentor.

To better understand how mentoring relationships work, check out the lessons Managing an Effective Mentoring Relationship, Mentoring & Networking Relationships & Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace, and Common Challenges in Mentoring Relationships.

Once you're familiar with mentoring relationships, reflect on the scenario below.

Scenario: Mentoring Relationships

Kavita has been assigned to mentor Jonas through a mentoring program at their organization. But something isn't working with their mentoring relationship. Kavita claims it's because Jonas is not committed. To illustrate, she explains that they set up regular meetings, but Jonas often has to cancel or shows up late.

Jonas, meanwhile, feels like Kavita doesn't really get him. She doesn't ask him questions or listen when he explains challenges he's facing. Instead, she tells him what she did and implies he should do the exact same thing. But he feels like her situation doesn't apply to him.

Imagine that you run the mentoring program. Kavita and Jonas come to you separately to talk about their mentoring relationship. Think about the following questions:

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