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Top 7 Ways To Prepare Yourself For A Mentoring Role

By Shamelle Perera

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Every mentoring relationship is as unique as the individuals involved in it. However, no matter who the individuals or what shape the relationship takes, completing some groundwork can help create a stronger and more productive relationship. So, before agreeing to undertake the role of mentor it is important that you carry out some personal preparation.

  1. Understand the mentoring process

    You will need to ensure that you fully understand the mentoring process and are able to distinguish it from other management and development processes.

  2. Clarify objectives

    This will include the purpose for which the mentoring is being undertaken.
    Example: Is it to help the individual to achieve a specific objective, such as becoming professionally qualified, or to assist in their career development?

  3. Obtain background information

    You might need to update your knowledge in certain areas. Some knowledge of the individual’s previous experience in the particular field and something about their personal background, hobbies and interest will also be useful.

  4. The roles of other parties

    You will have to ensure that your role as a mentor will not interfere with the roles of others. Thus, a clear understanding of their role and relationship with the mentee at the outset will help avoid this.

  5. Prepare to give constructive criticism

    When necessary, mentors should be able to point out areas that need improvement, always focusing on the mentee’s behavior, never his/her character.

  6. Prepare the mentee

    Your part in helping the mentee to prepare can be vital and it will make your task much easier when you come carry out the mentoring role.

  7. Learn to be supportive

    No matter how painful the mentee’s experience, mentors must continue to encourage them to learn and improve.

This article was written by Shamelle Perera, the founder of, a blog offering real life wisdom for modern life growth.


Article Submitted On: August 26, 2009