Throughout my PhD research I’ll be reading and studying in the field about mentoring practices. As I go along, I will share on this blog about the best practices and results of my research. I’ll start today with some insights from the book “Mentoring Executives and Directors” by David Clutterbuck and David Meggison. In their book they analyse  a number of cases of mentoring practices in the UK, France and other countries, from the private, public and voluntary sectors. So the first insights I’d like to share are about the preparation of “mentees” (people being accompanied by mentors) and some criteria measuring the success of the mentoring relationship.

From my research and experience in accompanying mentors in their task, I have come to the conclusion that both mentors and mentees needed to be prepared for this relationship to work. Clutterbuck and Meggison have summarised it very well by saying that the mentees have to not only “spend time considering what they want to achieve from the relationship” but also “to consider carefully what sort of mentor they require”. It is crucial before the matching process even starts that the mentees realise what this relationship means to them and what their expectations are. They need to be informed and prepared so that they can not only be open to learning but also be open to the creation of this relationship. We will examine in later articles the notion of permission that needs to be established between mentors and mentees to ensure a lasting and efficient relationship.

For the mentors who are active in their mentoring, there are a few criteria that they can consider to judge whether their relationship with their mentees is efficient (Clutterbuck & Meggison):

  • “Very few cancellations or changes of dates” (this will show the committment to the relationship and the engagement of the mentee in his/her development).
  • “Both parties enjoying the experience and being stretched by it” (remember this is a two-way relationship, so both sides need to be engaged and satisfied).
  • “New insight at each session” (showing this reationship is efficient and beneficial).
  • “Mentee is energized to take action” (the aim is not just te exchange but the actual implementation of a transition at work, in thinking or in knowledge).
  • “High degree of positive challenge” (the way the mentee can grow is often through the confrontation of his/her views with that of the mentor).

It is important for the relationship to work that an evolution of the mentee is clearly seen and measured, it will also help the mentor to evaluate him/herself in his/her role.

The question a mentor can ask him/herself is: how efficient is my mentoring?

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