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Set clear expectations

How you actually begin a mentoring relationship will largely depend on who you collaborate with. Make your intentions and expectations clear from the start. Together, you should discuss:

  • What’s the objective of this mentorship? Is it to help them build a new skill or to learn more about a different generation?
  • How will the mentoring be implemented? Should it be a one-time activity, last a few weeks, or be a long-term commitment?
  • How will you measure your success? Is there a goal they are aiming to reach? How often will check in on progress?

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

Mentoring is always a two-way street, whether it is reverse mentorship or the traditional kind. While you’re mentoring a senior colleague, use the opportunity to learn more about how things get done on their team, gain new perspectives on how decisions are made and build your cre...

Recognize that reverse mentoring may be uncomfortable for some people, especially those in positions of power who are not used to being in the passenger’s seat. If you find a senior leader struggling to lean into their vulnerabilities, guide them with empathy.

Mentoring is most successful when you take the time to think about what you are qualified to teach, what other people in your organization may be interested in learning from you, and how it overlaps with your company’s business objectives.

Reverse mentoring describes a situation in which a younger or early career professional mentors a senior colleague. While the overarching goal mirrors that of a traditional mentorship — advancing the professional growth of the mentee — because the roles are reversed, this model s...

During your next one-on-one meeting with your boss, you could say something like, “I have learned a great deal from the senior colleagues in our organization, and in return, I’d like to take the opportunity to share some of my skills within the organization.”

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