Mentoring Do's and Don'ts

Learn the best practices and common pitfalls of mentoring in our latest blog post. Discover the do's and don'ts of effective mentorship today.

Everyone has their own unique way of communicating, and there is no one-size-fits-all set of guidelines for conducting meetings, talking to superiors, handling employees, or interacting with mentors. However, there are some basic do's and don'ts of human relations that apply to all situations, such as manners and respect.

And like all social situations, mentoring has its own do's and don'ts that should be respected by both mentors and mentees.


  1. Respect time - time is valuable. Be on time for sessions and come prepared.

  2. Set clear norms for the meetings - the first meeting should establish limits, goals, and  parameters of the relationship. Gain agreement on sensitive topics to you want to avoid.

  3. Encourage feedback - provide and receive honest feedback, constructive criticism, and praise to enhance strengths and correct weaknesses.

  4. Emphasize independent decision-making - mentors should make it clear that mentees don't have to follow every suggestion, and mentees should evaluate guidance critically and make their own decisions.

  5. Prioritize mentee goals - mentors should make mentee goals their top priority and expect mentees to work towards achieving them.

  6. Express appreciation - thank the other person for their help or assistance.

  7. Maintain a professional relationship - both parties should act professionally at all times.

  8. Handle conflicts respectfully - if conflicts arise, work together to resolve them through respectful discussion.

  9. Stay in touch - after the mentoring program ends, mentors should consider keeping the door open for future contact if both parties are comfortable.


  1. Don't assume your schedule is more important. Don't act like your time is more valuable than the other person's.

  2. Don't neglect setting ground rules - don't let mentees learn about the relationship's rules through trial and error; be upfront from the start.

  3. Don't wait to be asked for feedback - take initiative and communicate openly.

  4. Don't assume your advice will always be followed - don't pressure mentees to follow every suggestion.

  5. Don't clone yourself in the mentee - don't try to make the mentee a replica of yourself.

  6. Don't assume the mentee will follow through - don't be afraid to use positive reinforcement.

  7. Don't make it personal - don't quickly move into a friendship; keep the relationship professional.

  8. Don't bring up inappropriate or controversial subjects - avoid sensitive topics.

  9. Don't end on a sour note - take care to end each mentoring session amicably to ensure a positive overall experience.

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