The Mentorship Roles

The Mentoring Life-Cycle

  • Establishing rapport and trust (forming a bond), terms of reference and setting objectives (contracting).
  • Contracting is way of negotiating a learning agreement or framework for the relationship. It occurs at two-levels – the whole relationship and each mentoring session
  • Contracting ensures both parties are clear about:
  • The purpose of the relationship
  • Respective roles of mentor and mentee
  • Responsibilities of both parties
  • What mentoring means in the particular context so that a shared vision can be agreed
  • Boundaries of the relationship
  • Expectations of behaviour from both parties
  • In this stage the mentee may be anxious and lacking in self-confidence
  • It’s characterised by:
  • The development of an honest, trusting, sincere relationship based on open communication
  • A focus on learning and growth
  • Getting to grips with business matters
  • Moving from plans to real outcomes
  • The core skills of listening, questioning, getting the mentee to tlak and reflecting are essential
  • Involves the mentor:
  • Facilitating deeper learning by encouraging the mentee to reflect, to see things differently, identify potential changes s/he that are available to him/her
  • There will be a shift in the mentor’s roles, increasingly it will develop into a devils advocate, confronting, stimulating and challenging the mentee to take a different perspective
  • Structured approach to problem solving and decision making is helpful
  • The mentoring relationship will either come to a premature end or terminate naturally.
  • Good practice suggests that a relationship is set up for a finite duration and that indicators are identified to signify end points
  • Reasons for ending the include:
  • One or both partners have fulfilled their needs
  • the relationship is not fulfilling the needs particularly of the mentee
  • personality clash / lack of bonding
  • Inappropriate matching