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MENTORSHIP PRINCIPLES: Proven Values in Mentorship

Mentorship is the relational experience between persons by which one person (mentor) empowers another (mentee) through sharing knowledge, wisdom and resources gained by experience. Empowering relationships may vary in numerous ways but a few principles and values are commonly identified in most successful mentorships. More...

Informal Mentorship: An exchange of empowerment may occur in common and routine relationships in which a mentor’s influence may be unintentional and often unacknowledged.

Intentional Mentorship: Significant and highly beneficial empowerment is available to persons who participate in acknowledged, intentional relationships conducted for the express purpose of empowerment.

Mentorship Mutuality: Is the acknowledgement that mentorship is a two-way, not one-way, relationship in which both parties give and receive in the ways appropriate to their individual role and participation in the relationship


Proven Values in Mentorship

• Mentorship is a joint venture: Partners share responsibility for the conduct and success of the relationship. Regardless of the subject matter, frequency, medium, term of contact and all other variables the underlying commitment of mentorship partners to accept and fulfill appropriate individual responsibility is key to the productivity of the mentorship.

• Mentorship works best “on purpose:” Empowerment is maximized when mentorship partners are intentional in the conduct of their relationship. Mentors premeditate and prepare to offer input by the most effective means available. Mentees clarify their needs and requests and behave proactively in the communication process.

• Mentorship is essentially relational: Knowledge, wisdom and resources derived from life experience are best transmitted between mentor and mentee in the context of trustworthy personal relationship. Personal anecdotes, examples, insights and other self disclosing information shared by mentorship partners contribute to a relational context in which honesty, credibility and trust flourish.

• Mentorship is process oriented rather than an “all at once event:” Impatient attempts to “force feed” information or accelerate a mentee’s assimilation of the mentor’s input often prove dissatisfying and leave both feeling frustration. By contrast, patience with the mentorship process usually yields the satisfying rewards of maturing relationship and increasing trust.

• Mentorship is dynamic: Empowerment is not derived from an incident or even a series of incidents; rather, from a dynamic, synergistic, transformational process by which all participants benefit. “Change” is a desirable result of successful mentorship.

• Mentorship is gratifying: The reciprocal transfer of empowerment between parties in a successful mentorship repeatedly delivers gratifying “win/win” experiences as the significant “pay off” for the personal investment.