Mentorship can be described as:
Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychological support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication...between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé).
Being a mentor requires you to be friendly, but you do not need to be friends.
Being a mentor requires you to listen to the concern of your mentee, but you need to move beyond simply being a listening ear.
Being a mentor requires you to try to help your mentee come up with solutions to their problems, but you are NOT a coach, NOT a therapist and NOT their problem-solver.
When considering your role as mentor it is helpful for you to:
- Be approachable
- Be open-minded
- Listen to your mentees concerns
- Discuss together what possible solutions might look like
- Offer support and advice to your mentee
- Ask if they would like to come back to you for their own accountability
- Suggest resources that might assist them including ones that you are aware of and ones listed on this site, as appropriate