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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pamela Davis

Mentoring Do's & Don't's

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

Mentoring is about sharing the knowledge, experiences, and lessons you have learned with someone who has yet to experience (or is currently experiencing) this learning along their journey. In most instances, the mentor is older however depending upon the set of experiences. Keep reading, I will explain.

In my line of work, I hear mentoring used loosely both when referring to students and adults. Research supports the power and effect of meaningful relationships on the success of students. This holds true for adults as well. As a kid, I did not have a mentor that worked with me one-on-one. My parents were very involved and they saturated me with love, attention, and experiences. Once I became an adult, I realized I needed guidance that my parents could not give me. Navigating my way around the politics of seeking promotions at work, handling a difficult boss, and other workplace challenges caused me to look to other adults who had dealt with similar experiences.

Fortunately, I connected with two mentors during my young adult years who have proven to be committed to listening to my rants and then offering solid guidance. The great thing about my relationship with both of them, is that they know me well. Even though we do not talk every day, we stay connected well enough to pick up where we left off each time. They are both genuinely invested in my growth and progress toward the goals and dreams that I have shared with them. After I moved away, I knew I needed a mentor in the city where I lived. There were times when I needed guidance from my mentors but they lacked the background intel on key players due to the fact that we did all live in the same city. After I identified a mentor in my new city, it rounded out my access to strong, experienced, and resilient women. Women who were true examples that I could look to for how to get it done.

Not long ago, I was connected with someone younger than who has proven to be a mentor of sorts. I had recently launched my consulting business and was connected to a relatively new business owner who was several steps ahead of me. Despite the fact that she was younger than me, she still proved to be a resourceful mentor in providing guidance to assist me with developing my business and services. Additionally, I have gleaned tips and strategies from virtual mentors. As a member of the John Maxwell Team, I have access to team members around the world who share experiences and lessons learned generously.

Here's my set of do's and don't's.


  1. Know your mentee well or be willing to get to know the mentee.

  2. Have experience in the area that the mentee needs guidance in

  3. Add value to the mentee

  4. Answer when the mentee calls

  5. Give the mentee access to your network

Do not:

  1. Tell the mentee to do it like you did it

  2. Take on a mentee that you do not have time for

  3. Take on a mentee that you are unable to help

  4. Make promises that you do not keep

Mentors serve as a source of accountability. With the right mentor relationship, you can build your confidence, access the resources you need and advance closer to achieving your goal. Make sure your mentor adheres to the do's and stays clear of the don't's.

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