Lesson 2. Building Rapport in Mentor-Mentee Relationship
Rapport is simply the state of being relaxed and responsive with other people. Finding things, you have in common with other people is the best short-cut to building rapport in a mentor-mentee relationship. The following strategies will help build rapport in mentoring relationships.
Challenges in the mentor-mentee relationship
- Concern for the mentoring partner’s time: Both parties might be hesitant due to excessive sensitivity towards each other’s time, freedom and independence. While a mentee might refrain from bothering their mentors, mentors might not be too pushy and wait for their mentees to ask for help.
- Unrealistic expectations: Mentees need to understand that a particular mentor might not be the source of information on an excessive scale of topics. In that case, mentors or mentees should look for additional mentors to get the help needed.
- Relationships that don’t gel: Mentoring relationships are often established without input from both parties, and might occasionally end up negative. However, research has concluded that assigned mentors can also be as effective as the mentors chosen by the mentee.
- The seasons of a mentoring relationship: Just like every other relationship, all mentoring relationships experience change over time as the mentee’s needs are met. A successful mentee might become more independent in time, which may disappoint the mentor if they aren’t in contact as often as they were in the past. Mentors and mentees need to take into account the natural “seasons” of a normal mentoring relationship and accept that contact with their partner may vary over time.