Mentoring has the power to do wonders for both professional and personal development, but it takes dedication and effort to be rewarding.

A mentee cannot expect their mentor to do everything for them, but rather take responsibility for the relationship and what they want to achieve.

In fact, the harder the mentee works on the relationship, the more the mentor will help and the more success they will see.

Traits of a Good Mentor

  • Ambitious
  • Open
  • Inquisitive
  • Goal-focused
  • Committed
  • Self-aware
  • Driven
  • Personable

3 phases of being mentored

Establishing the Basis

Get to know each other and set expectations & goals.

Facilitating Growth

Get feedback, advice, challenge and discuss new ideas.

Conclude and Analyse

Reflect on progress and measure success against initial goals.

Top 5 tips for Mentees

1. Always come prepared

How you arrive to your mentoring sessions reflects your dedication to the mentoring relationship, and therefore to your self development.

Successful mentees will have put a lot of thought into why they want a mentor and what they’re hoping to gain from it. Of course, your mentor can support you to fully define these goals, but you don’t want to be thinking about it for the first time in your intro session.

Prior to your sessions, think about:

  • Your goals
  • Your strengths & weaknesses
  • Challenges you’re facing
  • Lessons learnt or changes in mindset

To show you’re a motivated self-starter, you can even prepare agendas for your sessions. Come up with 2-3 discussion topics or questions that you would like to cover before you meet. Use the session template provided in your e-mail by the program managers.

2. Ask insightful questions

The best mentees are inquisitive and hungry to learn. Make the most of your mentor’s knowledge and expertise by preparing insightful questions such as:

  • “What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?”
  • “Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult colleague? How did you handle it?”
  • “How did you learn to speak engagingly in front of others?”
  • “How can I become better at managing my time?”
  • “How did you learn to embrace failure?”

Asking good questions is also a valuable skill you’ll use throughout your career.

3. Create an action plan

Being proactive in your mentoring relationship will take you a long way. Make sure you take notes at every session so you can create a list of actions to keep you on the right path to hit your goals.

Share this list with your mentor after every session. By doing so, you’re inviting them to hold you accountable – which means you’re more likely to achieve the things you set out to.

4. Reflect and ask for feedback

At the beginning of every session, make sure you reflect on your accomplishments so far, and share any learnings with your mentor.

As well as this, actively ask for feedback. This shows a hunger to learn and improve, which is a stand out characteristic of a good mentee. Try open ended questions such as:

  • “What do you think is working and not working when I make a clinical presentation?”
  • “What could I do differently that would have the greatest impact on my success?”

Remember to not take negative feedback personally – rather see it as a personal challenge to improve!

5. Be the driver

Your mentoring relationship is about you achieving your goals, so you can’t expect your mentor to drive the sessions. Take responsibility and remember that the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out.

This involves taking the lead on booking sessions, logging notes, following up with action-items, asking for support and showing appreciation to your mentor.

Throw yourself into your personal development and don’t shy away from challenging conversations!

A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you. – Bob Proctor

REMEMBER: Your mentor is there to guide you about the intricacies of working in the NHS and to help you adjust to this new healthcare system. They ARE NOT a CV writing/job profile reviewing service. Please refrain from these types of queries or requests.