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Mentoring is in the Details

A recent client of ours, after observing some training I facilitated, said to me, "You know, mentoring is in the details." Her statement was absolutely true! Details make the difference between merely ordinary and exceptional mentoring relationships.

Mentors monitor numerous details in their own roles and actions, and they also give their mentees a hand keeping track of theirs. Read the following examples, and decide which ones fit your mentoring style and the needs of your mentees.

1. Details while exploring the possibility of working together

More and more potential mentees are going to be contacting you for help. Think about these details as you look at each potential relationship:

2. Details while building the relationship

If you agree to proceed, include these (and other) details during the first phase of your partnership:

3. Negotiating the arrangement

Be sure to think through, agree upon, and even write down such details as:

4. Helping your mentee develop

During the longest phase, in which your mentee is learning and growing, take care to keep track of:

5. Ending the formal relationship

As you wind down and end the formal aspect of your partnership, consider these details:

Be aware of what's going on and what's likely to come next. At the same time, don't over-structure your mentoring relationships, or they won't be any fun. For more ideas on being an effective mentor, see The Mentor's Guide.

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Mentoring Is in the Details
by Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones