7 Tips for Effective Mentoring Partnerships

Practical Tips for Effective Mentoring Partnerships

Utilize these key pieces of advice that will improve any mentoring partnership.

Be Prepared
  • Develop and email agenda topics prior to your meeting
  • Bring or email examples or additional materials (work plans, emails, articles, etc) to support your dialogue.
  • Have discussion questions prepared in advance; pauses in virtual settings feel much longer than in person
Meeting Agenda
Eliminate Distractions
  • Conduct your meetings away from your regular workspace
  • Turn off your technology
  • Turn off notifications on email, phone, or other technology that might distract you
  • Select a quiet place with no distractions for your call
business people workplace Empty computer studio room. Office style. Modern equipment and objects.
Practice Active Listening
  • Address both facts and feelings in sharing your perspectives
  • Invest the time to check for understanding because you do not have the benefit of all visual cues
An attentive counselor listens and takes notes as a vulnerable patient discusses an important topic.
Keep the Conversation Going
  • Communicate in between meetings
  • Contact each other to follow up, check in, or ask for brief insights between meetings
Mature business man working at modern office space, working on project. Making a call on mobile phone at his desk.  Brick wall and bicycle in  background.
Don't get in a rut
  • Invite others to your meetings
  • Participate in an activity together online or in-person (professional or social events, educational sessions, shadow each other at meetings)
Showing smartphone during conference
Provide Feedback after Each Meeting
  • Include meeting evaluation as a regular agenda item for ongoing assessment of your partnership
  • Implement changes as needed
Giving Feedback
Next Steps
  • Include “next steps” on your agenda to clarify action items between meetings
  • Follow up with a confirmation email prior to the next meeting
Listening Skill Tips For Mentors

In the realm of effective communication, our minds often gravitate towards compelling speeches and robust debates. Individuals dedicate time to enhancing their verbal prowess, mastering the art of expression to garner recognition and advancement in their professional journeys.

However, a crucial but often overlooked aspect of communication lies in the skill of listening. While verbal articulation is undeniably vital, the significance of listening may surpass it. Julian Treasure, a sound expert, advocates for the inclusion of listening skills in educational curricula, alongside presentation skills.

Menttium’s mentees emphasize the importance of the exceptional listening abilities of their mentors. Beyond the common traits of patience, presence, and adept questioning, there are lessons to be learned from mentors to elevate one’s listening skills from good to exceptional.


Here are three key insights inspired by the practices of exceptional listeners:


1) Demonstrate Respect: Exceptional listeners value contributions from everyone, regardless of their position. Actively seeking input from individuals at all levels fosters an environment of respect. By doing so, valuable insights and diverse perspectives emerge, enriching the conversation. This respectful approach not only benefits the listener but also helps the speaker discover insights they might not have uncovered without attentive listening.


2) Keep Quiet: While it may seem elementary, the act of listening goes beyond mere silence. Exceptional listeners intentionally create space for others to express themselves freely. By withholding immediate responses, they allow speakers to convey their thoughts genuinely. Additionally, astute listeners pay attention to non-verbal cues, such as body language, speech patterns, and word choice, deciphering deeper meanings behind the spoken words.


3) Avoid Assumptions: Exceptional listeners resist the temptation to prematurely anticipate responses during a conversation. By refraining from making assumptions, they steer clear of potential misunderstandings and foster an atmosphere conducive to learning. This practice opens the door to gaining new insights and embracing perspectives beyond one’s own.


In the evaluation of your communication effectiveness, consider dedicating attention to your listening skills. How can you transition from being a good listener to an exceptional one?



  1. Ferrari, Bernard T. “The Executive’s Guide to Better Listening.” McKinsey Quarterly. February 2012. Web. 18 Dec. 2017.
  2. Treasure, Julian. “5 Ways to Listen Better.” TED. July 2011. Lecture.