Time you spend building rapport with your mentor will pay you back with deeper conversations and more meaningful mentoring.
Here are the key components you need to build the relationship -
1. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of a mentoring relationship and essential for both you and your mentor.
Do not discuss anything your mentor shares with you outside of your meeting unless you get permission to do so. You can write private messages by going into a current Mentorship and clicking on the Messages tab – other mentors and mentees can’t see these interactions.
2. Building rapport and trust are essential. Here are some ways you can build trust:
- Spend the first meeting getting to know each other. Don’t dive into problems and solutions too soon.
- Live up to your commitments. Keep track of your goals, tasks and notes in the Mentoring Relationship.
- Be prepared to be vulnerable. Your mentor is not there to judge you.
- Ask for and be open to frank feedback even when it’s uncomfortable to hear.
3. Good communication skills support strong mentoring relationships.
Sync your calendars so it’s easier to schedule meetings and avoid conflicts. Simply go to “Settings”, then click on “General Preferences” and “Connect Calendar” to connect with your desired calendar account.
It is also important to be conscious of how you’re communicating with your mentor, both verbally and non-verbally.
- Maintain an open and relaxed posture. Turn your body towards your mentor.
- Make eye contact if it is culturally acceptable.
- Nod or make small affirmations to show you are actively listening.
- Ask questions.
Maintaining confidentiality, building rapport and using effective interpersonal communication skills will help you build a strong relationship with your mentor so both of you benefit from the experience.