One of the best ways to further employee skills and professional development is to develop a mentoring relationship with an employee. A mentor is someone an employee can trust to offer you crucial information for success, including advice and broader context and history, and who can act as a sounding board for the employee. Mentors can also challenge employees to see new perspectives and provide them with inspiration.
While GW does not have a formal mentor/mentee program, we encourage managers to build informal mentoring relationships. You can use these tips to ensure your mentoring relationship is productive.
For more information on mentoring, find courses on Talent@GW - Learning or contact Talent and Organizational Development.
Managers as Mentors
As a manager, you may be approached to be a staff member's mentor or you may identify someone on your team or beyond who may benefit from mentoring. As a mentor, you should offer crucial information for your mentee’s success, including advice, broader context and history than they may have, and act as a sounding board for them. You should also challenge your mentee to see new perspectives and provide them with guidance and inspiration.
- A mentor does not have to be part of a mentee's team, school, or department. You may be approached by or identify a mentee who is looking for advice and guidance on careers outside of his/her current role. A mentee may also be looking for general advice and guidance, regardless of their particular career or role at the university.
- Be courageous about sharing your experiences, both good and bad. Candidly sharing a mistake or bad outcome can provide your mentee with valuable insight into how to identify risks and prevent negative outcomes. Model ethical leadership and the willingness to own your mistakes.
- Challenge your mentee. Inspire them to stretch, try new things, and become comfortable with ambiguity and change. Check in on their progress periodically and offer both advice and moral support.