Based on his research, University of Texas professor Richard Reddick lays out the keys to successful mentoring relationships.
Scratch the surface of any leader’s great career and you will find the influence of one or more mentors who fully invested themselves in the leader’s development and advancement. The value of mentoring is such that access to qualified mentors is seen as one of the keys to inclusion and diversity. Yet, building a successful mentoring relationship — one in which the mentor offers knowledge, guidance and support while connecting on a personal level with the mentee — is a more difficult task that it might seem.
In his presentation, Building and Maintaining Mentoring Relationships, Richard Reddick of the University of Texas at Austin offers some guidelines and success factors for effecting mentoring relationships, including understanding the attributes and characteristics of effective mentors. Reddick emphasizes:
Reddick also offers steps that mentees can take to ensure that the relationship is successful. For example:
Reddick notes that mentoring is a reciprocal relationship, something that especially young mentors might not recognize. While mentors will offer guidance based on their experiences and knowledge, they can also find that mentees can help or assist them.
Finally, mentoring relationships should exist only as long as they are mutually beneficial. Not every mentoring arrangement will be successful. A carefully developed, working relationship based on trust and openness, however, can prove to be life-changing for both mentee and mentor alike.
Successful companies recognize the importance of professional development at all levels of the organization. Helping employees and rising leaders to learn and grow will increase their satisfaction, reduce turnover, and prepare the next leaders for your organization. Formal corporate training and development initiatives are just the beginning; well-designed and managed mentorship programs will help employees and rising leaders achieve their full potential. Riddick’s research — which identifies the keys to effective mentoring, including the responsibilities of all parties — can help to ensure the success of your mentoring initiatives.
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