Information for Mentors
The term “mentor” derives from Homer’s epic Odyssey, in which Mentor acts as a fatherly friend for Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, supporting him in word and deed during the long absence of his father.
Your role as a mentor:
Be a source of knowledge: You advise your mentee concerning current issues and provide your evaluation of the situation. Then, you and your mentee search for solutions that suit him/her best.
Be a sparring partner: Be a training partner in discussions and give constructive critical feedback. We encourage the mentors to be sympathetic and to act as a mirror – in order to help the mentees along with a neutral feedback and openness.
Be a counsellor: It is your responsibility to promote your mentee, to give positive feedback and be open to your mentee’s new ideas and discuss their feasibility. As a mentor, you are not responsible for the meentee’s actual development – you simply offer “help for self-help”. It’s up to the mentee what he/she makes of it.
Be a career adviser: You discuss professional goals with the mentee and talk about how – based on your experience – you believe these could be achieved.
Establish contacts: You can help the mentee to establish important contacts by introducing him/her to different networks and point out contact persons.
Sincerity as a Basis: Helpful Tips for the first Encounter
Each mentoring relationship is unique. Especially a personal “one-on-one” meeting can help to build real trust. The first conversation should also address some of these important elements:
- What information do you have about each other?
- What do you expect of each other?
- Which issues should be addressed and discussed?
- How often do you intend to get in touch with each other?
- How do you want to communicate; through which means?
- Where do you want to meet?
- In which way should feedback be given?
- Which information is considered appropriate to be passed on to others, which information is considered confidential?
- How would you like to evaluate the mentoring year when it is over?