Mentor’s roles & responsibilities

The role of a mentor is to

  • help the mentee to focus and identify the actions they need to take in order to achieve what they want 
  • provide support, structure, ideas and inspiration 
  • help the mentee build confidence and networks 
  • offer an alternative view on situations and problems and a chance to discuss issues with someone external 
  • guide the mentee by referring them to others when their own experience is insufficient.

Mentors should 

  • be able to commit approximately 1 hour every 4-6 weeks either i n person, online or on the phone 
  • be clear on when they are available to their mentee 
  • appreciate the importance of confidentiality and manage the expectations of the mentee 
  • be aware of their own limitations and boundaries 
  • be non-judgmental 
  • be open to new experiences, new perspectives and new ideas
  • have good communications skills, including an ability to listen, question, negotiate well and give constructive feedback.

Remember that only the mentee can bring about positive change and that often these changes will take longer to achieve than the duration of the relationship. Don’t put too much pressure to see immediate progression, some things can take time. 

Little things can have a big impact, just being there to listen, or helping someone think a problem through can make a huge difference. 

Be patient! People have different levels of motivation and drive, don’t expect everyone to be as motivated, organised or as driven as you might be. Be aware of what else is going on in your mentee’s life and have empathy. 

Understand that each relationship is unique and that you should enter the mentoring relationship with no preconceptions about how it will be. Don’t try and impose your ways of working, they might not apply to the mentee’s situation.