What Is a Mentee? - Responsibilities & Benefits

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  • 0:03 Mentor & Mentee Relationships
  • 0:57 The Benefits of Mentorships
  • 1:46 The Responsibilities…
  • 2:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Orin Davis
Mentees have the advantage of having someone who makes their personal and professional growth a priority. A mentee's responsibilities are to show respect, be open and honest, and make time to meet.

Mentor & Mentee Relationships

When Odysseus had to go fight the Trojan War, there was no way to Google a long-term care option for his son, Telemachus. So, instead, he asked his old friend Mentor to look after the boy while Odysseus horsed around with the Trojans. Just as the Google search engine does such a good job that 'Google' also became a verb, so too did Mentor do such a good job that his name was turned into a verb. To mentor someone is to provide guidance in both personal and professional areas, and it's typically performed by someone senior to the mentee, who is typically called a protégé, or someone learning from the mentor.

The Benefits of Mentorships

Mentors typically advise their mentees on matters of personal and professional development. In the latter capacity, mentors help their mentees to develop the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) of the profession.

Benefits of Being Mentored

In addition to getting personal guidance in the development of the field's KSAs, mentees also enjoy several related benefits. For example, mentees generally get tailor-made growth opportunities, which can include 'stretch tasks' that require the mentee to develop new skills or hone existing ones. Another example is opportunities to present work before key stakeholders in the company who can further the mentee's career. When a mentor is in the same company, a mentor is also an advocate and helps the mentee through difficult situations and also facilitates opportunities for promotion. Moreover, mentors protect their protégés (French for 'protected', by the way!) from harmful political forces within the company and from gunners who might want the mentee to fail.

The Responsibilities of a Mentee

While many of the primary responsibilities of a mentee seem obvious, the challenge is in the execution. The first and foremost responsibility is respect - while one generally respects a more senior member of an organization, familiarity can erode the esteem in which a mentor is held. It is crucial that, despite the friendly and informal environment that often comes with a good and organic mentoring relationship, the protégé maintains and exhibits a deep respect for the mentor.

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