Are you at a point with your protégé where you are unsure if the relationship should continue? This video provides four strategies that will help you decide if you should keep your protégé.
- This summer I helped my middle schooler get ready for his 80s dance by introducing him to the classic lyrics of The Clash. Should I stay, or should I go, if I stay there will be trouble, if I go there will be double. These lyrics resonate not only for interpersonal relationships, but they also ring true when I think about decision points in mentoring relationships. I'm going to share four great strategies to help you decide whether to continue or not in your relationship with your protege.
One, assess the tangible costs and benefits of staying in the relationship from your perspective. My research strongly indicates mentoring relationships that last are reciprocal. This does not mean there is a direct one-for-one exchange every day, but it does mean that over time, you feel like the relationship is worth your time and effort. What you exchange may be different but it must be valuable to each of you.
For example, you might act as a sponsor to your protege by introducing them to someone important. In return, you might gain their sincere appreciation and some reflected glory in the sense that you become seen by others as a source of talent. Using both logic and your gut feelings to answer these questions, what are you giving? What are you getting? Is it worth it? Reflect on these questions, and then schedule some time to discuss your thoughts with your protege.
Two, assess the emotional costs and benefits of staying in the relationship with your protege. For example, in power mentoring, we interviewed Ann Sweeney, a top executive at Disney. Ann shared that every time she met with her protege, she felt energized and just better. In fact, according to research we can catch each other's emotions. I highly recommend that you use the lens of emotion to determine whether to stay or go in your mentoring relationship.
Ask yourself, do I feel better and energized when I meet with my protege? Or does my protege suck the life out of me? Three, before you meet, ask your protege to evaluate your mentoring relationship. In other words, if you feel like you are at a stay or go juncture, then use this as a teaching moment. Ask your protege to evaluate the process of your mentoring relationship from their perspective. Ask them to consider these questions: What is working well? What could be better? What am I gaining from the relationship? What do I offer to my mentor? Four, meet and discuss your relationship.
Explain that the purpose of the conversation is to take stock of the relationship and decide how and when you want to transition your relationship. Try to do more listening than talking. I find that most times when I have these conversations, we either fix what's broken or come to a mutual understanding that our formal mentoring relationship needs to end. If you decide you want to end the relationship, we will talk more about how to do that effectively in another video, Breaking Up With Your Protege Gracefully.
Relationships naturally evolve. As a mentor, you have the opportunity to role model how to transition a professional relationship decisively, authentically, and kindly.
She also offers guidance on building trust and chemistry, providing feedback, and helping your protégé make critical career and work decisions and become resilient in the face of challenges. She also helps you address common obstacles, including a protégé that fails to meet expectations or violates trust, and explains how to gracefully exit the relationship.
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- Building a relationship with your protégé
- Talking and listening with impact
- Giving feedback
- Developing trust
- Setting goals
- Developing your protégé's skills
- Managing mentoring relationships
- Overcoming common obstacles
- How to make time for mentoring