Link Overview:


The Professions...


What the...
mentoring program is, what is is not...

Benefits of a
Mentor/Protege Relationship...

The Mentoring

and Definitions...

Mentoring Styles

Attributes, Skills
and Functions of an Effective Mentor...

Attributes of a
Receptive Protege...

The Mentoring

Important Issues

A. Source
B. Activities
C. The Mentoring Contract

Attributes of a
Receptive Protege

Being involved in a mentoring relationship is not effortless. Anyone considering looking to improve their skills through the aid of a mentor should consider these issues.

Willingness to Learn

A successful protégé must have a desire and willingness to learn from their chosen mentor. A mentoring relationship is interactive and requires that you be committed to setting and working towards specific learning objectives.

Willingness and Ability to Self Evaluate

The protégé needs to be able to assess his/her relative skills objectively and evaluate potential opportunities for self-development. This self-evaluation is required for the protégé to identify potential mentors and set objectives within the mentoring relationship.

Learning Style

Different people learn new ideas and concepts differently. For example, some people learn through verbalization, others through reflection. Since mentoring is a tool for learning, it is important to understand how you learn so you can evaluate whether mentoring is an effective learning tool for you.


Building a mentoring relationship takes time. A good protégé recognizes that a mentor's time is valuable, and ensures that he/she adequately prepares for each face-to-face meeting. It is recommended that the protégé be prepared to commit a minimum of two hours every other week for mentoring activities, including preparation and review.


You must be committed to achieving the objectives of a mentoring relationship. This will require commitment and persistence.

Self Confidence

Much of the onus for initiating a mentoring relationship is, and should be, on the protégé. A protégé needs to have the self-confidence to approach potential mentors and effectively present the merits of potential mentoring relationships.


Your mentor will expect, and the Association demands, that the details and particulars you discuss with your mentor be kept in confidence. However, any situation involving a risk to the public would override this expectation.

Assessing Whether You Need a Mentor

Much is demanded of the protégé in the mentoring relationship. A protégé must realize that before approaching a potential mentor, he/she must:

  • have clearly defined skill requirements,
  • have well defined goals and expectations for the mentoring relationship,
  • be committed to working towards achieving the goals and expectations
  • established with the mentor,
  • be prepared to provide open, timely feedback to the mentor.

Protégé Checklist

  • I have completed a skills/competencies assessment and clearly identified the skill/competency for which I require mentoring.
  • I have discussed my mentoring need with my employer.
  • I am committed to working towards establishing goals and timelines with my mentor.
  • I am committed to being available to my mentor for the time/frequency agreed upon in the mentoring contract.

Finding/Approaching a Mentor

First and foremost: discuss your plans with your supervisor!

Mentoring is a tool that can be used to complement your career development process. You should already have established a coaching relationship with your direct supervisor. A mentor can help you develop skills and competencies that your supervisor may not be expert in, or may not have time for.

Although you own your continuous learning objectives and career development plan, it is appropriate to share your mentoring needs with your supervisor. He/she may be able to help you identify a potential mentor.

Attributes to consider when choosing a mentor

  • How interested is your potential mentor in developing his/her mentoring skills?
  • How mush time does your potential mentor have available? Is the person already involved in other mentoring relationships?
  • § How similar is the potential mentor's personal style to your own?
  • § Does the potential mentor have a similar professional or academic background to yours? Has your potential mentor had a career path (or even life path) that you would like to learn from?

Approaching a potential mentor

Approach your potential mentor with a well-developed plan for the mentoring relationship. The mentor needs to be able to assess if he/she will be able to help you acquire the skills or competencies that you want to develop.

Realize that your potential mentor may not feel he/she is an appropriate mentor for you. He/she may already be involved in other mentoring relationships and may not have the time to commit to another protégé.

What to look for in a mentor

  • Time
  • Seniority
  • Different roles or responsibilities
  • Someone willing to share special projects and credit
  • Active in technical and professional societies (has a network of associates)
  • Diversity: it is important not to go looking for someone exactly like yourself. Try to learn new approaches and develop your creativity by seeking out people with different learning, problem solving, and people management skills.


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