#GenWChat Recap: Creating Great Mentorships

The word Mentor in magazine letters on a notice boardA mentorship can offer great support during critical stages of your academic or career development, but do you really know what goes into making sure that relationship is effective for both the mentee and the mentor? That was the topic of discussion during this week’s #GenWChat where experts of our Gen W community gave practical tips and advice for getting the most out of a mentor/mentee relationship. “More often than people realize, mentors benefit greatly from a mentoring relationship as well,” said Anna Brosche during Wednesday night’s Twitter chat. “It’s a gift to both people.”

Here’s what you should know if….

You Are The Mentor:

  • “Be someone that listens, shares and expands a mentee’s thinking.”
  • “Mentors should expect to share personal experiences as examples, including sharing vulnerabilities.”
  • “Have patience and discipline to let the mentee reach their own answer.”
  • “While mentors are there to support their mentees, they should also challenge them.”

You Are The Mentee:

  • “For mentees, remember that you OWN your development–you have to keep yourself focused & on task.”
  • “If the mentor is not available or responsive, ask if there is a better structure/format for the mentoring relationship.”
  • “Drive the meetings and always came prepared with questions.”
  • “Invite mentor to your events and activities to help them understand your environment and circumstances.”

You Need New Ideas:

  • “Consider developing a 1-3-5 year plan as a mentoring relationship outcome.”
  • “Invite your mentee to a non-confidential work meeting.”
  • “Do a service project or activity–great way to build your relationship and showcase the skills you’ve been discussing.”
  • “Ideas for mentoring a girl…swap music, cook together, send cards, plant a garden.”

You Are Starting a Mentoring Program:

  • “Define some basic expectations and structure, including how the selection process works and how often meetings should happen.”
  • “Include a mentee preparation form to kick start the conversation.”
  • “Offer as an incentive opportunity; it should be available to those that have demonstrated interest via performance.”
  • “Plan a …”Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.”

You Want to Be in a Mentor Relationship:

  • “Look to local networking organizations for potential mentors!”
  • “Find someone you admire, ask if you can have an hour of their time, and be prepared with questions.”
  • “They don’t have to be just in your industry, but find someone who understands your business I believe would help significantly!”

Great online resources shared during our online conversation:


Thank you again to our great #GenWChat discussion leaders Shannon Italia, @bearcatinjax; Anna Brosche, @AnnaBrosche; and Elizabeth Paulson, @empaulson, @JAofNFL and @JAGirls.  We hope you will join us next Wednesday for #GenWChat (8-9 PM ET) as we get ready for Generation W2014 with a great discussion how to IMAGINE the POSSIBLE!