Taking on a mentee is quite the responsibility so we understand that there may be some apprehension and anxiety involved. So to help ease those worries, here are our top matching tips for mentors.
Know what kind of mentor you want to be
It’s important to know your mentoring style before you enter into a mentoring relationship. This allows you and your mentee to determine whether you are the right fit for each other and know what to expect from the relationship.
Know how many mentees you can take on
It’s common for mentors to want to take on more than one mentee at a time. If you’re one of them, that’s absolutely fantastic! However, temper that enthusiasm just a tad and be aware of how many mentees you can realistically take on. Remember, each mentee will require, not just meeting time, but some emotional and mental labour from you too. So make sure you’re up for it and that you can spare the time and effort without it unbalancing your life.
Advice from our Customer Success Team
Keep your availability up to date:"We appreciate the enthusiasm around your capacity to mentor more than one mentee! In order to manage your mentoring connections and ensure there is quality over quantity; it would best to know your limit! You have the option to set yourself as available/unavailable if you find that you have taken on enough mentees and would not like to be matched with anybody new until you change your availability within your profile settings." - Janina
Know what you expect from your mentee
We all function and work differently. And while this has its benefits, this can also be a reason a mentoring match doesn’t work out.
So what are your expectations? Do you prefer a mentoring relationship where there’s a lot of communication between meetings? Or would you prefer that you keep the communication sparse outside of a few messages between meetings? Do you like a lot of documentation or prefer a more casual approach?
Make sure you communicate this to your mentee so you can both determine if you’ll be a good match, anticipate any adjustments that need to be made should you proceed with a mentoring relationship, or decide not to proceed with the match and wish each other well.
Don’t be afraid to decline requests if you need to
If you review a prospective mentee's profile and message and feel that it's not a good match, don’t feel too guilty for wanting to decline. We’re all different people and mismatches are common. When you feel that you need to decline a request, tell the other party why, be encouraging, and wish them the very best in their mentoring journey.
Is it just bad luck that you have too many mentees at the moment? Let them know and maybe make a recommendation to match with a colleague that might be a great match. Or even let them know that you’ll be happy to take them on as a mentee in the next cohort.
If it’s because you think you’re not a match because of your area of speciality, expectations, mentoring/working style, etc., let them know. Make sure to let them know that you’re declining the request because you don’t think either of you will have a great experience because of this mismatch. Chances are if you’re specific about why they’ll probably also see that it's not a great match.
For more on managing match requests, click here.
We hope these tips help you make great matches! Joining a mentoring program as a mentor is an exciting time and setting yourself up for successful mentoring starts with making sure you’re making great matches for yourself.
Good luck and happy mentoring!
If you’ve already made a great match, check out the Mentoring Agreement, our tip sheet on How to Be A Great Mentor, and the First Meeting Checklist to make sure you’re starting your mentoring relationship on the right foot!