I encounter this question often when I conduct a demo of my online system, Mentoring Complete.
Should mentees choose their mentor?
My response is that a mentee and a mentor are choosing their partner when they complete the matching form. By specifying the focus areas and the personality traits they are seeking, they are defining who their partner should be. What they are NOT doing is choosing the specific individual.
Although there is nothing wrong about allowing mentees or mentors select the specific individual they wish to work with, the reality is that they are likely to select someone who is either the most powerful or promising candidate or someone that they already know. This bias may not lead to the best match.
If a mentoring program manager believes strongly in having mentors or mentees choose their own partner, I recommend the following approach:
Use an online algorithm to get an objective list of potential matches and then present the top 3 potential matches to a mentee or mentor and request which they prefer. This combines both the advantage of an objective assessment while also providing for the input of the participants.
For more information on matching mentors with mentees, check out our Precision Matching Tool.
Also, if you are a Mentoring Program Manager, learn more about our certification process by clicking the button below.
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