Key Takeaways

- Mentoring and mentorship have been a topic of interest within ASSP communities over the past few years. This article continues an analysis of that theme.

- The article highlights the important characteristics of both the mentor and mentee. For a successful mentor, these traits include being motivational, empowering and ethical, while for mentees, it is important to be committed and active in the relationship.

- Additional emphasis is placed on the importance of strengthening the formality of the mentoring relationship.

- Natural phases occur in the mentor/mentee relationship. It is critical that these phases are properly aligned to ensure success.

If you are part of the younger generations in the workforce, you probably entered a workplace full of buzzwords and corporate initiatives to engage and turn employees into “leaders.” One of the programs often found is a mentoring program. Such a program is likely structured with an assigned mentor who is at a senior level and seasoned in the organization. The mentor has a checklist of items to discuss with their newly assigned mentee and the ultimate goal is to ensure their mentee’s assimilation into the organizational culture. While these programs certainly have a place, they should not be called mentoring. Ultimately, they do little more than create hierarchical relationships within the company, typically designed to elicit a specific and tangible output. Additionally, these programs present a means for bias to creep into the workspace, as noted by Marquet (2017), based on the typical design of managers mentoring subordinates. These programs tend to focus on doling out management advice in support of a predetermined destination (Vaynerchuk, 2017).

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