As a mentor to Harry Potter, “Dumbledore is a very wise man who knows that Harry is going to have to learn a few hard lessons to prepare him for what may be coming in his life. He allows Harry to get into what he wouldn’t allow another pupil to do, and he also unwillingly permits Harry to confront things he’d rather protect him from.”

Mentoring is a relationship in which one person (the mentor) supports another (the learner or mentee) with regular guidance, feedback and confidential discussion, to help them become more self-aware, knowledgeable and develop their potential and capability.

A mentoring relationship can be a formal or informal arrangement between two people who respect and trust each other.  The mentor can be any person with appropriate experience, ability and knowledge. Dumbledore ticks all the boxes, in our opinion!

Here are 5 Top Tips to make your mentoring a success:-

1.Clarify the relationship

Ensure that both the mentee and mentor are clear on what the relationship is – and is not – about. This will avoid later confusion and disappointment.

If appropriate, consider drafting a mentoring contract, with specifications that include roles, responsibilities, confidentiality and duration of relationship.

2.Open the relationship

Recognise that in the early stages, the mentor will take more of a lead, while later, as the mentee’s confidence and understanding grows, the balance will shift.

Set S.M.A.R.T objectives, (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) for what the mentoring process aims to achieve. Also, distinguish between short and long-term goals that will need thought and consideration and discuss ways and means of tackling these.

3.During a meeting

Clarify what has been achieved, and be precise about what will happen between this session and the next – especially if the mentor is to arrange something on the mentee’s behalf.

Ensure control of the mentee’s development passes increasingly from the mentor to the mentee, this is essential as it leaves the mentee capable of standing alone when the mentoring process ends.

4.Mentoring skills

To be an effective mentor, you will need to:-

Have the desire to help.

Be motivated to continue developing and growing.

Have confidence and an assured manner.

Ask the right questions.

Listen actively.

Provide constructive feedback.

Suspend judgement and prejudice and avoid driving the mentee in one direction.

Be able to help define objectives and plan ways of achieving them.

Signpost opportunities for the mentee, drawing on other people’s skills and experiences.

5.End the relationship

Mentoring relationships between people outside work often exist for years, as an on-going process. However, it is important to recognise that in work, there is likely to be a point when a mentoring relationship comes to an end – when the objectives are achieved. When this point is reached, celebrate the success with a final review of the progress made.

Want to learn how to mentor effectively? Join our Mentoring Virtual Open Course on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 – 14:00:00 PM BST – 15:30:00 PM BST.  TO book, visit


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