It's time to test your business mentoring knowledge. Go through each statement below and answer true or false. Then, review the answer key, which includes brief explanations.
1. Mentoring benefits the mentor as much as the mentee.
2. The goal of coaching is to tranform personally and professionally.
3. Formal mentoring can be successful without any structure.
4. The number one challenge of most mentoring relationships is time.
5. A mentor manages the mentee's development.
6. A mentor can build trust with a mentee by sharing credible information.
7. Coaching focuses on performance while mentoring focuses on development.
8. It's appropriate for a mentee to offer to pay for the mentor's time and advice.
9. In formal mentoring, the mentor should drive the relationship.
10. Asking the right questions is more important in mentoring than providing the answers.
1. True. Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship because the mentor gains from a mentee's experience, background, connections, etc.
2. False. In mentoring, the goal is for the mentee to tranform personally and professionally. Successful coaching involves knowledge and skills acquisition.
3. False. While informal mentoring can be successful without structure, a formal mentoring program needs structure in order to be successful (you'll have too many moving parts otherwise).
4. True. Meeting on a regular basis requires commitment in a very busy world. In my experience, time constraints tend to be the top challenge in both informal and formal mentoring relationships.
5. False. The mentor does not manage the mentee's development. Rather, the mentor facilitates the mentee's development.
6. True. Accurate and timely information is critical for the mentee to trust the mentor's advice.
7. True. Coaching is tied to specific outcomes (e.g., did the coachee learn the new skill?). Mentoring focuses on creating an enriching relationship where the mentee has the room to grow and transform personally and professionally. (This is linked with #2 above.)
8. False. A mentor willingly offers to be available out of a sense of generosity. Exchanging money would change the nature of the relationship into something more like coaching. Providing an occasional small gift or taking the mentor out for lunch is appropriate.
9. False. The focus of the relationship is the mentee's specific needs. As such, the mentee should be the one who drives the relationship.
10. True. A mentor shouldn't provide answers. Instead, the mentor should encourage the mentee to think critically by asking the mentee probing questions. This puts the responsibility for development on the mentee as they think through their answers and come to their own conclusions.
How'd you do? Remember, I'm here to answer questions. Here's to your mentoring success!