ChatGPT – Being a mentor for the first time

Becoming a mentor for the first time is an exciting and rewarding experience. It means you have an opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with someone who is eager to learn from you. While mentoring can be a fulfilling experience, it can also be daunting, especially if you are unsure of how to go about it. In this article, we’ll explore some tips on how to be a successful mentor for the first time.

  1. Understand your role as a mentor

Before embarking on your journey as a mentor, it is essential to understand your role. As a mentor, you are responsible for guiding and supporting your mentee to achieve their goals. You will need to provide them with advice, feedback, and guidance to help them grow and develop. You will also need to be patient, understanding, and willing to listen to their concerns.

  1. Set clear expectations

It is essential to set clear expectations with your mentee from the outset. You should establish what you hope to achieve from the mentoring relationship, and what your mentee wants to get out of it. You should also set clear goals and objectives, and establish a timeline for achieving them. This will help to ensure that you and your mentee are working towards a common goal.

  1. Establish regular communication

Regular communication is key to a successful mentoring relationship. You should establish how often you will meet or communicate with your mentee and stick to this schedule. Regular communication will help you to track progress, provide feedback, and address any issues that may arise.

  1. Be a good listener

One of the most important qualities of a successful mentor is being a good listener. You need to be willing to listen to your mentee’s concerns, questions, and ideas. You should also be willing to give them your undivided attention and provide feedback that is constructive and helpful.

  1. Provide constructive feedback

Providing constructive feedback is an essential part of being a mentor. You should provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and relevant. Feedback should be focused on the mentee’s goals and objectives, and it should be delivered in a way that is respectful and encouraging.

  1. Share your knowledge and experience

As a mentor, you are responsible for sharing your knowledge and experience with your mentee. You should be willing to share your successes and failures, and provide advice on how to overcome challenges. You should also be willing to share any resources or contacts that may be helpful to your mentee.

  1. Be patient and supportive

Being patient and supportive is crucial to the success of any mentoring relationship. You should be patient with your mentee as they learn and grow, and be supportive of their efforts. You should also be willing to offer encouragement and praise when your mentee achieves their goals.

In conclusion, being a mentor for the first time can be a fulfilling experience, but it requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn. By following these tips, you can build a strong and productive mentoring relationship with your mentee, and help them to achieve their goals. Remember that being a mentor is not just about imparting knowledge, but also about building a relationship of trust, respect, and support.

ChatGPT – Why should I be a mentor

When I printed the question «Why should I be a mentor»? in a ChatGPT page I got this 5 reasons:

Being a mentor can bring numerous benefits, such as:

  1. Personal and professional growth
  2. Opportunities to share knowledge and experience
  3. Giving back to the community
  4. Improving leadership skills
  5. Building relationships and network.

Quite accurate isnt it?

How to ask someone to be your mentor

Mentorship has a big impact on workplace wellness and productivity. Nine in 10 workers, 91%, who have a career mentor say they are happy in their jobs ( ).
In contrast, four out of 10 professionals who don’t have a mentor have considered quitting in the last quarter.

«The benefits of mentorship are clear, so why doesn’t everyone have a mentor? Companies often create mentorship programs, but individuals may be left to choose for themselves whether they want to participate. And simply being assigned a mentor likely isn’t enough to foster a real difference in happiness at work via any of the measures noted above». Source CNBC.

It is important that the potential mentee get to choose to be in a mentoring program, because you have to get all in…

Try your best to be IN a mentoring program, get your company to start one if they don’t have one yet.

But after trying to get a mentoring program within your company, you still are on your own. Relax, here is the dos and don’ts. The source is GetSmarter.

What if someone else is in charge?

Sometimes you realise that someone else is in charge of your mentee, it can be your boss, wife/husband, friends or family.
When you confront your mentee you have two different possibilities: He or she admits it or they don´t. In either way you as a mentor has a problem.

The best way is to invite the other part to a combined meeting. Then tell or she about the privilege to be a mentee and be in that spotlight, and that the reflection is the most important tool in these sessions. And if someone else correct the mentee after a meeting, everything is destroyed…

They have to step back or the sessions are for no good.

How to get most of your mentor

It’s a good question and I’m sure everyone already figured out that I am a huge believer in the value of mentors. So I have three simple tip.

  1. Be sure to get the right mentor. Before you find a mentor take the time to find out why you want a mentor and what you think the mentor can do for you.
  2. Have a clear overview over who you are. I like to use SWOT-analyzes from the businessworld, Your strength, your weaknesses, your potential/opportunities and in the end what can stop you for getting to your goals.
  3. Be prepared and joine your mentor in the dance (dancing in the moment). Be prepared for every meeting and try to answer and reflect on everything your mentor asks you.

Is someone having others?

Being a good coach is it the same as being a non-directive coach?

In my mentoring sessions I some time feel that giving advice or almost instructive, is the right way to go, but other feels that is wrong. And for coaching is also the same, when you are talking about directive and non-directive coaching.

Coach training programmes usually focus strongly on teaching the skills of non-directive coaching. This is a sensible approach, since people new to coaching and the helping professions typically see helping others as consisting of telling them what to do differently (or suggesting or advising, etc). Breaking this habit is difficult and so a relentless focus on helping the novice coach shift their attention away from telling the coachee what to do, to helping the coach learn how to surface and explore the coachee’s resources and resourcefulness is vital. The moment of breakthrough to non-directive coaching is a delight to observe and is signalled by the coach’s realisation that it is the coachee, not the coach, who has to do the hard work of discovering how to change! Indeed, one of the most reliable signs that a coach has «lost it» in a session is the feeling of trying hard!

Mike the mentor had a post on the subject some time back, here is the article, read it and make up your own mind.

Getting the Most out of Mentoring

I strongly believe in the power of mentoring in developing leaders. During my years with mentoring I have found that there are things you can, as a mentee, can do to get the most out of the mentoring sessions.

I have developed a MENTOR-model:

M – meet
E – explore
N – needs and requirement
T – time and resources
O – options
R – review


Meet. It is important to prepare everything ahead of the mm-meeting (the meeting between mentee and mentor), f.ex. when and where it should be, how much time you have,do you have an agenda and what are the mentees goals. Send it to your mentor before the meeting.

Explore. At the mm-meeting it is important to get an overview of the current topic, what have the mentee done since the last meeting. Check whether the goals and agenda has been changed.

Needs and requirement. Now you should find out what the mentee requires to achieve its goals, which

challenges that exist and what is it the mentee really, really want.

Time and resources. To move forward, it is important to find out when the mentee wants to achieve his/her goals and what resources are important for this (people, equipment, etc.)

Options. All the various measures to achieve the goal will be discussed here and you will find the ones that is appropriate.

Review. Finally, it is important to summarize what you have agreed on and what the mentee has to do until the next mm-meeting. And not least, check if the mentee has regained the goal for the meeting.

I have also put together some questions for each step, this will come in an article no. two.

The Mentor´s way Rule #5 – Balance Empathy and Action

By Rik Nemanick, Ph.D.

As trust grows between a mentor and a protégé, the mentor will notice a change in the types of issues the protégé wants to discuss. The issues often become more complex, demanding, or recurring. Because of their more challenging nature, they usually also are more emotionally charged. In fact, this change is often a signal to a mentor that trust has built to the point that the protégé feels comfortable brining these more sensitive issues into the mentoring conversation. They signal a turning point in the partnership that many mentors miss.

Up until this point, many of the issues a protégé brought to the mentoring discussion were simpler, with easier solutions that a mentor and protégé could devise quickly. However, as the protégé and mentor wade into the deeper waters of the more complex issues, the answers won’t come as quickly or easily. And, many of these issues carry with them an emotional component that wasn’t present in the earlier issues. When mentors miss the signal the emotions present, and continue to try to focus on the issues at hand. However, they usually trip over the protégé’s emotions, and see the protégé stall out in progress. What these mentors miss is the fact that the protégé is looking as much for empathy as for a solution.

Empathy, which is the ability to understand and share someone’s feelings, is often confused with sympathy, which is feeling pity or sorry for someone. Protégés look for empathy from a mentor because a mentor has already been in the protégé’s shoes before. When a mentor empathizes with a protégé, she is connecting with a time when she felt how the protégé feels now because she has had a similar experience in the past. The ability to empathize often separates a mentor from a coach; coaches oftensympathize with someone because they haven’t been in a similar situation before. Mentors often have the ability to truly empathize with a protégé, which can strengthen the connection between them.

Empathy benefits a protégé in many ways. When facing a difficult or intractable issue, a protégé often feels like she or he is the only one who is struggling. A lot of comfort comes from the protégé knowing that she or he is not along and is not the only one who has faced this issue before. The protégé also is looking for some validation that it is okay to feel this way. No one wants to feel out of control or in the grip of emotions. We all want some rational basis for why we feel the way we do. By empathizing with the protégé, the mentor is giving the protégé time and space to acknowledge and express the feelings.

When we are grappling with a difficult issue, emotions often keep us from a rational appraisal of our situation. Emotions live in our more primitive brain, and have a way of creating noise that inhibits our more rational brain from gaining the perspective needed to solve problems. Acknowledging and expressing emotions helps calm down the primitive brain and allow the reasoned brain to begin to see the situation differently.

The mistake many mentors make is to drive by the emotional content of the protégé’s issue and go straight to problem solving. Doing this can cause the trust a mentor and protégé have built to plateau, or even erode. Without adequate empathy, a protégé can feel belittled (my issue isn’t important), ignored (my mentor isn’t listening to me), or foolish (I’m the only one who has been tripped up by this issue).

The ability to feel and express empathy is difficult to teach, but it can often be improved. There are many ways a mentor can empathize with a protégé.

  1. Emphasize the “safe place” aspect of mentoring. By reminding the protégé that the mentoring conversation is a safe place, the mentor is giving the protégé permission to get feelings out and express them without judgment. Such a validation can allow the protégé to let go of some of the emotion.
  2. Use feeling words to identify and validate the emotions. Often naming an emotion goes a long way to making a protégé feel understood. By saying, “I can see that this makes you very frustrated,” creates an opening for a protégé to acknowledge his or her own feelings. It helps to build up your emotional lexicon to give you words to name emotions. You can find a starter list here.
  3. Relate your own experiences. The feeling of empathy comes from being able to relate to someone else’s experience. As a mentor, you are more likely than others to have faced similar issues to your protégé. You can share your experiences using “Feel, Felt, Found.” “I can see that you feel ____. I have felt that way when____. What I have found is that _____.”
  4. Test to see if the protégé is ready to start considering solutions. The longer the issue has been festering, the longer it may take for the protégé to let go of the emotions. You don’t want to hurry a protégé along too quickly if the emotions haven’t been fully explored or expressed. Check to see if the protégé wants to think about solutions yet, or if the time would be better spent talking through the emotions.

The caution for mentors is not to get caught up wallowing with a protégé. If the turn is never made to actions a protégé can take, the emotions can begin to overwhelm the conversation and become a whirlpool that continues to pull downward. It is important to find the balance between empathy and action.

Look here for the original blogpost, and to Rik Nemanick´s homepage