Two Women Working At Computer In Contemporary Office

Is there someone in your workplace whose behavior and career you’re watching? Do you interact with them in ways that make your professional interest evident? Workplace mentoring not only benefits the mentee. The mentor, your employer (or your business if you’re the eployer) and your industry all stand to gain from mentor-mentee relationships.

Human beings need to feel seen and cared about –that’s especially true of the Millennials in your workplace. If you’re trying to determine if your prospective mentee is ready for your guidance, here are characteristics a number of senior leaders say they look for in mentees. Someone who:

– Knows their strengths and wants to learn how to fully leverage them.

– Has strong opinions, is willing to express and substantiate them, while remaining open, flexible and receptive to others’ ideas.

– Respects the existing organizational reality AND is an innovative, out-of-the-box thinker who is willing to take risks.

– Owns her decisions and is accountable for the consequences.
– Wants to learn.

– Is teachable and coachable.

– Has goals that can serve as a focal point for the relationship.

– Is confident yet willing to ask for help.

If your prospect fits the bill and you’ve not explicitly acknowledged your interest in their growth, do so. Here are some suggestions on how to get started.

– Offer appreciative feedback on areas where they excel.

– Propose ways they can more effectively leverage their existing skills and reputation.

– Acknowledge behavior changes that indicate forward progress.

– Share a tip or technique to enhance their effectiveness.

– Suggest a developmental assignment or career move.

– Connect them with others who can serve them in some way.

If you care enough to be a shaping influence in the career of those in your sights, reach out and help them by coaching, mentoring, or sponsoring. It’s a worthwhile investment of your time and effort that will reap rewards for years to come.

For more tips on excelling at work, check out my Office Talk reports as heard on KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia.  To listen to the reports and or read the transcripts visit

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