Mentoring expectations

Susan Buglass

Susan Buglass

May 14 — 2 mins read
Ensuring both partners expectations are compatible is important<br />Photo by <a href="" target="_blank">Bill Oxford</a> on <a href="" target="_blank">Unsplash</a>

Ensuring both partners expectations are compatible is important
Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

In effective partnerships, both partners need to understand each other's expectations and ensure that these are compatible. This is a conversation that can take place at the beginning of the partnership and any disagreement resolved before the partners continue. Typical expectations that we have found to be common to successful partnerships include:

Mentee driven

An effective mentoring partnership is one that is mentee driven. This means that the focus of the partnership is on helping the mentee to achieve his or her goals, and the content of the meetings and the approach of the mentor therefore reflects the needs of the mentee, which may change as the partnership progresses.

Protected time

One of the huge benefits of mentoring is that it is conversation focused completely on the mentee and on their development. This kind of conversation almost never happens in the normal course of life/work. Even an appraisal type conversation is about performance and development, largely in the context of the currently held post. A mentoring conversation is about the individual.

Trust and confidentiality

Effective mentoring partnerships require trust between the partners, so that experience and problems can be openly shared without worrying about confidences being broken.


In order for mentoring partnerships to make progress, both parties must take responsibility for their own role and for following through with agreements. The mentee, for example, must take responsibility for doing whatever they say they will do between one meeting and the next. Otherwise, at the next meeting, no progress has been made and the same conversation will happen again.

mentee mentor mentoring

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