Tips for Mentors
Our principle is to match mentors with mentees with similar interests, based on the aspirations of mentees and experiences of mentors. It is up to the individual mentor and mentee to arrange the frequency and format of their interactions; however, in general you will be expected to meet your mentee(s) in person at least four times during the programme year.
As a Mentor, you are expected to:
- set expectations at the beginning to identify and agree upon the goals and outcomes to be achieved, and the frequency and format of interactions. While you may have your own ideas what sorts of help and support you can provide, listen to your mentee as to what his or her expectations are;
- stay in touch with your mentee(s), either through emails, phone calls or social media;
- make yourself available for meetings or discussions wherever possible, on issues that mentee(s) may want to share or seek advice on.
- consider group gatherings with current and past mentee(s), and even with other current mentors and mentees. Home or workplace visits, lunches or dinners, outdoor activities and cultural activities are great ice-breakers. Inviting your mentee(s) to join corporate events or community service also helps expand their horizons;
- offer your viewpoints and guidance, and discuss and even challenge mentee(s) on cultural observations, societal viewpoints, career plans, life experiences and issues related to mentee(s)’ personal development; answer mentee(s) questions the best you can or direct them to find the answers;
- connect your mentee(s) with friends, co-workers or family, and, if appropriate, expand your mentee(s)’s network, which may in turn help their personal or future career/professional development;
- be an energy-giver. Your mentees may come to you with some seemingly unrealistic ideas or ambitions. Consider why and how the ideas might work before helping your mentee to think more realistically. A good mentor can help a mentee find their passions, strengths and limitations, encourage and inspire them to explore possibilities and aspirations;
- value the individuality of each mentee. Develop mutual trust and respect. Focus on your mentee’s development and his or her potential, and resist the urge to produce a clone;
- provide feedback to the Programme Facilitators via email or the brief online feedback survey (after logging into the Mentorship Website Account), on the progress of the relationship, your mentoring experience or anything the Facilitator should be aware of about the mentee(s). Your responses are crucial in shaping the future of the Programme; and
- give permission to the programme Facilitators to share snapshots of your mentorship moments on the Mentorship Website and Facebook page.
As a Mentor, you are reminded NOT to:
- give your mentee(s) expensive gifts;
- pick up bill every time. Let your mentee(s) pay once in a while;
- help your mentee(s), in actual terms, to secure a job;
- let emails or messages from your mentee(s) go unanswered; a short reply acknowledge receipt of a message from mentee and saying you will be in touch will suffice during busy times; or
- be involved in verbal, written (including texts) or physical conducts that are sensitive or may be unwelcome by your mentee(s). In respect of issues concerning Equal Opportunities, Sexual Discrimination or Harassment, and Disability Discrimination, please refer to the University’s Policies, Procedures and Information.
Sharing from Current Mentors
- “Spend time with your Mentee, get to know more about their family and history, and share your own. Throw them questions to see how they respond.”
- “If you have children, involve them with your Mentee, and make them mentees of your Mentee. In this way, you can also teach your Mentee how to be a Mentor.”
- “Show care and concern. Ignore your age.”
- “Try bringing past and current Mentees together for a gathering, especially if a past Mentee is now in the workforce.”
- “Mentees grow, and it’s probably good to know she knows she has someone to fall back on when she encounters a problem, be it in life, career or love.”
- “At first my Mentee seemed so remote. So I started sharing all my failures and telling her how I was intimidated when I first started work. Soon the ice was broken.”
- “My Mentee cheered me up just at the right time. It is great to have him around.”
- “We meet regularly. Friendship has been forged as well as a sense of helping out each other. We joke that when we have team members born under all 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac, any project we undertake as a group will thrive. That’s according to the Chinese tradition. We look forward to growing our family.”